Machine learning-based automatic seismic facies analysis has increased significantly over the past few decades. The key is to select the most representative features (such as the commonly used poststack amplitude data or the induced seismic attributes) as the input of the different machine learning algorithms. As an advanced branch of machine learning, deep learning can be used to extract the discriminatively deep features from seismic data similar to those used in image classification. In this study, we havedeveloped an unsupervised seismic facies analysis method by using a recurrent autoencoder model. First, we have constructed and trained an autoencoder architecture combined with long short-term memory-based recurrent operation. Its main aim is to learn the deep discriminative features by taking the windowed poststack seismic data as the input time series data. This type of unsupervised learning takes advantage of the no labeling requirement of seismic data. In addition, the recurrent operation is beneficial in delineating the time-sequential characteristics of seismic data. Second, we have taken the learned features as the input of simple K-means clustering and analyzed the corresponding seismic facies. In other words, the clustering is executed in the learned feature space (learned feature-based clustering). Real data results have demonstrated that our method reveals more details than the original amplitude-based K-means clustering, depending on the cluster calibration. In particular, according to the known natural gamma-ray logs and lithological descriptions of five wells, different amounts of sandstone and mudstone deposit are more accurately discriminated, which is substantially informative in reservoir prediction and hydrocarbon exploration. Furthermore, the estimated average silhouette scores have quantitatively shown the effectiveness of our method.

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