The coherence attribute computation is typically carried out as a poststack application on 3D prestack migrated seismic data volumes. However, since its inception, interpreters have applied coherence to band-pass-filtered data, azimuthally limited stacks, and offset-limited stacks to enhance discontinuities seen at specific frequencies, azimuths, and offsets. The limitation of this approach is the multiplicity of coherence volumes. Of the various coherence algorithms that have evolved over the past 25 years, the energy ratio coherence computation stands apart from the others, being more sensitive to the seismic waveform changes rather than changes in their amplitude. The energy ratio algorithm is based on the crosscorrelation of five or more adjacent traces to form a symmetric covariance matrix that can then be decomposed into eigenvalues and eigenvectors. The first eigenvector represents a vertically variable, laterally consistent pattern that best represents the data in the analysis window. The first eigenvalue represents the energy of the data represented by this pattern. Coherence is then defined as the ratio of the energy represented by the first eigenvalue to the sum of the energy of the original data. An early generalization of this algorithm was to compute the sum of two covariance matrices, one from the original data and the other from the 90° phase rotated data, thereby eliminating artifacts about low-amplitude zero crossings. More recently, this concept has been further generalized by computing a sum of covariance matrices of traces represented by multiple spectral components, by their azimuthally limited stacks, and by their offset-limited stacks. These more recently developed algorithms capture many of the benefits of discontinuities seen at specific frequencies, azimuths, and offsets, but they present the interpreter with a single volume. We compare the results of multispectral, multiazimuth, and multioffset coherence volumes with the traditional coherence computation, and we find that these newer coherence computation procedures produce superior results.

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