Fault interpretation is one of the routine processes used for subsurface structure mapping and reservoir characterization from 3D seismic data. Various techniques have been developed for computer-aided fault imaging in the past few decades; for example, the conventional methods of edge detection, curvature analysis, red-green-blue rendering, and the popular machine-learning methods such as the support vector machine (SVM), the multilayer perceptron (MLP), and the convolutional neural network (CNN). However, most of the conventional methods are performed at the sample level with the local reflection pattern ignored and are correspondingly sensitive to the coherent noises/processing artifacts present in seismic signals. The CNN has proven its efficiency in utilizing such local seismic patterns to assist seismic fault interpretation, but it is quite computationally intensive and often demands higher hardware configuration (e.g., graphics processing unit). We have developed an innovative scheme for improving seismic fault detection by integrating the computationally efficient SVM/MLP classification algorithms with local seismic attribute patterns, here denoted as the super-attribute-based classification. Its added values are verified through applications to the 3D seismic data set over the Great South Basin (GSB) in New Zealand, where the subsurface structure is dominated by polygonal faults. A good match is observed between the original seismic images and the detected lineaments, and the generated fault volume is tested usable to the existing advanced fault interpretation tools/modules, such as seeded picking and automatic extraction. It is concluded that the improved performance of our scheme results from its two components. First, the SVM/MLP classifier is computationally efficient in parsing as many seismic attributes as specified by interpreters and maximizing the contributions from each attribute, which helps minimize the negative effects from using a less useful or “wrong” attribute. Second, the use of super attributes incorporates local seismic patterns into training a fault classifier, which helps exclude the random noises and/or artifacts of distinct reflection patterns.

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