Abstract

Seismic coherency is a measure of lateral changes in the seismic response caused by variation in structure, stratigraphy, lithology, porosity, and the presence of hydrocarbons. Unlike shaded relief maps that allow 3-D visualization of faults and channels from horizon picks, seismic coherency operates on the seismic data itself and is therefore unencumbered by interpreter or automatic picker biases. We present a more robust, multitrace, semblance-based coherency algorithm that allows us to analyze data of lesser quality than our original three-trace cross-correlation-based algorithm. This second-generation, semblance-based coherency algorithm provides improved vertical resolution over our original zero mean crosscorrelation algorithm, resulting in reduced mixing of overlying or underlying stratigraphic features. In general, we analyze stratigraphic features using as narrow a temporal analysis window as possible, typically determined by the highest usable frequency in the input seismic data. In the limit, one may confidently apply our new semblance-based algorithm to a one-sample-thick seismic volume extracted along a conventionally picked stratigraphic horizon corresponding to a peak or trough whose amplitudes lie sufficiently above the ambient seismic noise. In contrast, near-vertical structural features, such as faults, are better enhanced when using a longer temporal analysis window corresponding to the lowest usable frequency in the input data. The calculation of reflector dip/azimuth throughout the data volume allows us to generalize the calculation of conventional complex trace attributes (including envelope, phase, frequency, and bandwidth) to the calculation of complex reflector attributes generated by slant stacking the input data along the reflector dip within the coherency analysis window. These more robust complex reflector attribute cubes can be combined with coherency and dip/azimuth cubes using conventional geostatistical, clustering, and segmentation algorithms to provide an integrated, multiattribute analysis.

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