Pattern recognition-based seismic facies analysis techniques are commonly used in modern quantitative seismic interpretation. However, interpreters often treat techniques such as artificial neural networks and self-organizing maps (SOMs) as a “black box” that somehow correlates a suite of attributes to a desired geomorphological or geomechanical facies. Even when the statistical correlations are good, the inability to explain such correlations through principles of geology or physics results in suspicion of the results. The most common multiattribute facies analysis begins by correlating a suite of candidate attributes to a desired output, keeping those that correlate best for subsequent analysis. The analysis then takes place in attribute space rather than (x, y, and z) space, removing spatial trends often observed by interpreters. We add a stratigraphy layering component to a SOM model that attempts to preserve the intersample relation along the vertical axis. Specifically, we use a mode decomposition algorithm to capture the sedimentary cycle pattern as an “attribute.” If we correlate this attribute to the training data, it will favor SOM facies maps that follow stratigraphy. We apply this workflow to a Barnett Shale data set and find that the constrained SOM facies map shows layers that are easily overlooked on traditional unconstrained SOM facies map.

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