We propose a texture-based interpretation workflow and apply it to delineate salt domes in 3D migrated seismic volumes. First, we compute an attribute map using a novel seismic attribute, 3D gradient of textures (3D-GoT), which measures the dissimilarity between neighboring cubes around each voxel in a seismic volume across the time or depth, crossline, and inline directions. To evaluate the texture dissimilarity, we introduce five 3D perceptual and nonperceptual dissimilarity functions. Second, we apply a global threshold on the 3D-GoT volume to yield a binary volume and demonstrate its effects on salt-dome delineation using objective evaluation measures such as receiver operating characteristic curves and the areas under the curves. Third, with an initial seed point selected inside the binary volume, we use a 3D region growing method to capture a salt body. For an automated 3D region growing, we adopt a tensor-based automatic seed point selection method. Finally, we apply morphological postprocessing to delineate the salt dome within the seismic volume. Furthermore, we also develop an objective evaluation measure based on the curvature and shape to compute the similarity between detected salt-dome boundaries and the reference interpreted by the geophysicist. Experimental results on a real data set from the North Sea show that the proposed method outperforms the state-of-the-art methods for salt-dome delineation.

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