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Semi-automatic fault/fracture interpretation based on seismic geometry analysisNormal access

Authors: H. Di and G. AlRegib
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 67, No 5, June 2019 pp. 1379 - 1391
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12769
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 13.91Mb )

Fault and fracture interpretation is a fundamental but essential tool for subsurface structure mapping and modelling from 3D seismic data. The existing methods for semi-automatic/automatic fault picking are primarily based on seismic discontinuity analysis that evaluates the lateral changes in seismic waveform and/or amplitude, which is limited by its low resolution on subtle faults and fractures without apparent vertical displacements in seismic images. This study presents an innovative workflow for computer-aided fault/fracture interpretation based on seismic geometry analysis. First, the seismic curvature and flexure attributes are estimated for highlighting both the major faults and the subtle fractures in a seismic volume. Then, fault probability is estimated from the curvature and flexure volumes for differentiation between the potential faults and non-faulting features in the geometric attributes. Finally, the seeded fault picking is implemented for interpreting the target faults and fractures guided by the knowledge of interpreters to avoid misinterpretation and artefacts in the presence of faulting complexities as well as coherent seismic noises. Applications to two 3D seismic volumes from the Netherlands North Sea and the offshore New Zealand demonstrate the added values of the proposed method in imaging and picking the subtle faults and fractures that are often overlooked in the conventional seismic discontinuity analysis and the following fault-interpretation procedures.

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