Time-frequency analysis is a fundamental approach to many seismic problems. Time-frequency decomposition transforms input seismic data from the time domain to the time-frequency domain, offering a new dimension to probe the hidden information inside the data. Considering the nonstationary nature of seismic data, time-frequency spectra can be obtained by applying a local time-frequency transform (LTFT) method that matches the input data by fitting the Fourier basis with nonstationary Fourier coefficients in the shaping regularization framework. The key part of LTFT is the temporal smoother with a fixed smoothing radius that guarantees the stability of the nonstationary least-squares fitting. We have developed a new LTFT method to handle the nonstationarity in all time, frequency, and space (x and y) directions of the input seismic data by extending fixed-radius temporal smoothing to nonstationary smoothing with a variable radius in all physical dimensions. The resulting time-frequency transform is referred to as the nonstationary LTFT method, which could significantly increase the resolution and antinoise ability of time-frequency transformation. There are two meanings of nonstationarity, i.e., coping with the nonstationarity in the data by LTFT and dealing with the nonstationarity in the model by nonstationary smoothing. We evaluate the performance of our nonstationary LTFT method in several standard seismic applications via synthetic and field data sets, e.g., arrival picking, quality factor estimation, low-frequency shadow detection, channel detection, and multicomponent data registration, and we benchmark the results with the traditional stationary LTFT method.

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