ABSTRACT

Seismic waves that are recorded by near‐surface sensors are usually disturbed by strong noise. Hence, the recorded seismic data are sometimes of poor quality; this phenomenon can be characterized as a low signal‐to‐noise ratio (SNR). The low SNR of the seismic data may lower the quality of many subsequent seismological analyses, such as inversion and imaging. Thus, the removal of unwanted seismic noise has significant importance. In this article, we intend to improve the SNR of many seismological datasets by developing new denoising framework that is based on an unsupervised machine‐learning technique. We leverage the unsupervised learning philosophy of the autoencoding method to adaptively learn the seismic signals from the noisy observations. This could potentially enable us to better represent the true seismic‐wave components. To mitigate the influence of the seismic noise on the learned features and suppress the trivial components associated with low‐amplitude neurons in the hidden layer, we introduce a sparsity constraint to the autoencoder neural network. The sparse autoencoder method introduced in this article is effective in attenuating the seismic noise. More importantly, it is capable of preserving subtle features of the data, while removing the spatially incoherent random noise. We apply the proposed denoising framework to a reflection seismic image, depth‐domain receiver function gather, and an earthquake stack dataset. The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the framework’s potential in real‐world applications.

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