By Marwa Hussein, Robert R. Stewart and Jonny Wu | Published with permission: Interpretation Journal | May 2021
Subtle fault detection plays a vital role in reservoir development studies because faults may form baffles or conduits that significantly control how a petroleum reservoir is swept. Small-throw faults are often overlooked in interpreting seismic amplitude data. However, seismic attributes can aid in mapping small faults. Over the years, dozens of seismic attributes have been developed that offer additional features for interpreters with as-sociated caveats. Using the Maui 3D seismic data acquired in the Offshore Taranaki Basin, New Zealand, we have generated seismic attributes that are typically useful for fault detection. We find that multiattribute analysis provides greater geologic information than would be obtained by the analysis of individual attribute volumes. We extract the geologic content of multiple attributes in two ways: interactive corendering of different seismic attributes and the unsupervised machine learning algorithm self-organizing maps (SOM). Corendering seismic attributes that are mathematically independent but geologically interrelated provides a well-integrated structural image. We suggest eight combinations of 16 various attributes useful for a human interpreter with interesting fault and fracture detection. Current interpretation display capabilities constrain corendering to only four attribute volumes. Therefore, we use principal component analysis and SOM techniques to efficiently integrate the geologic information contained within many attributes. This approach gathers the data into one classification volume based on the interrelationships between seismic attributes. We show that our resulting SOMclassification volume better highlights small faults that are difficult to image using conventional seismic interpretation techniques. We find that SOM works best when a fault exhibits anomalous features for multiple attributes within the same voxel. However, human interpreters are more adept at recognizing spatial patterns within various attributes and can place them in an appropriate geologic context.
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