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Automatic editing of noisy seismic dataNormal access

Authors: Richard G. Anderson and George A. McMECHAN
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 37, No 8, November 1989 pp. 875 - 892
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2478.1989.tb02238.x
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.03Mb )

Seismic data often contain traces that are dominated by noise; these traces should be removed (edited) before multichannel filtering or stacking. Noise bursts and spikes should be edited before single channel filtering. Spikes can be edited using a running median filter with a threshold; noise bursts can be edited by comparing the amplitudes of each trace to those of traces that are nearby in offset-common midpoint space. Relative amplitude decay rates of traces are diagnostic of their signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios and can be used to define trace editing criteria. The relative amplitude decay rate is calculated by comparing the time-gated trace amplitudes to a control function that is the median trace amplitude as a function of time, offset, and common midpoint. The editing threshold is set using a data-adaptive procedure that analyses a histogram of the amplitude decay rates.

A performance evaluation shows that the algorithm makes slightly fewer incorrect trace editing decisions than human editors. The procedure for threshold setting achieves a good balance between preserving the fold of the data and removing the noisiest traces. Tests using a synthetic seismic line show that the relative amplitude decay rates are diagnostic of the traces’S/N ratios. However, the S/N ratios cannot be accurately usefully estimated at the start of processing, where noisy-trace editing is most needed; this is the fundamental limit to the accuracy of noisy trace editing.

When trace equalization is omitted from the processing flow (as in amplitude-versus-offset analysis), precise noisy-trace editing is critical. The S/N ratio of the stack is more sensitive to type 2 errors (failing to reject noisy traces) than it is to type 1 errors (rejecting good traces). However, as the fold of the data decreases, the S/N ratio of the stack becomes increasingly sensitive to type 1 errors.

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