We have addressed the seismic data denoising problem, in which the noise is random and has an unknown spatiotemporally varying variance. In seismic data processing, random noise is often attenuated using transform-based methods. The success of these methods in denoising depends on the ability of the transform to efficiently describe the signal features in the data. Fixed transforms (e.g., wavelets, curvelets) do not adapt to the data and might fail to efficiently describe complex morphologies in the seismic data. Alternatively, dictionary learning methods adapt to the local morphology of the data and provide state-of-the-art denoising results. However, conventional denoising by dictionary learning requires a priori information on the noise variance, and it encounters difficulties when applied for denoising seismic data in which the noise variance is varying in space or time. We have developed a coherence-constrained dictionary learning (CDL) method for denoising that does not require any a priori information related to the signal or noise. To denoise a given window of a seismic section using CDL, overlapping small 2D patches are extracted and a dictionary of patch-sized signals is trained to learn the elementary features embedded in the seismic signal. For each patch, using the learned dictionary, a sparse optimization problem is solved, and a sparse approximation of the patch is computed to attenuate the random noise. Unlike conventional dictionary learning, the sparsity of the approximation is constrained based on coherence such that it does not need a priori noise variance or signal sparsity information and is still optimal to filter out Gaussian random noise. The denoising performance of the CDL method is validated using synthetic and field data examples, and it is compared with the K-SVD and FX-Decon denoising. We found that CDL gives better denoising results than K-SVD and FX-Decon for removing noise when the variance varies in space or time.

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