Automated seismic facies classification using machine-learning algorithms is becoming more common in the geophysics industry. Seismic attributes are frequently used as input because they may express geologic patterns or depositional environments better than the original seismic amplitude. Selecting appropriate attributes becomes a crucial part of the seismic facies classification analysis. For unsupervised learning, principal component analysis can reduce the dimensions of the data while maintaining the highest variance possible. For supervised learning, the best attribute subset can be built by selecting input attributes that are relevant to the output class and avoiding using redundant attributes that are similar to each other. Multiple attributes are tested to classify salt diapirs, mass transport deposits (MTDs), and the conformal reflector “background” for a 3D seismic marine survey acquired on the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf. We have analyzed attribute-to-attribute correlation and the correlation between the input attributes to the output classes to understand which attributes are relevant and which attributes are redundant. We found that amplitude and texture attribute families are able to differentiate salt, MTDs, and conformal reflectors. Our attribute selection workflow is also applied to the Barnett Shale play to differentiate limestone and shale facies. Multivariate analysis using filter, wrapper, and embedded algorithms was used to rank attributes by importance, so then the best attribute subset for classification is chosen. We find that attribute selection algorithms for supervised learning not only reduce computational cost but also enhance the performance of the classification.

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