GEOPHYSICS, VOL. 68, NO. 4 (JULY-AUGUST 2003); P. 1294–1302, 9 FIGS., 1 TABLE. 10.1190/1.

1598122

Volume texture extraction for 3D seismic visualization and interpretation

Dengliang Gao∗
cause of the subtlety of amplitude variations and limitation in data visibility in 3D space, it is difficult for them to extract quantitative information for automatic feature discrimination, visualization, and detection. In previous studies, various seismic attributes have been extracted from the amplitude in an attempt to facilitate seismic feature identification and interpretation. These efforts (e.g., Taner and Sheriff, 1977) have significantly enhanced interpreters’ ability to discriminate and visualize geological features efficiently and objectively. However, very few attributes (e.g., Taner et al., 1994; Bahorich and Farmer, 1995; M. T. Taner, 1998, personal communication; Marfurt et al., 1999) have been published to recognize certain seismic features, for example, those defined by both intratrace and intertrace relationships of amplitude from a 3D perspective. To overcome these limitations and difficulties, I introduce a new approach to the problem by extracting volume seismic textures using a point-relational statistical method. An image texture is a general term that refers to a characteristic pattern defined by the magnitude and variation of neighboring data samples at a given location in a physical space. Although studies of image texture have been published since the 1970s, the early concept was primarily applied to twodimensional (2D) image analysis (e.g., Haralick et al., 1973; Weszka et al., 1976; Reed and Hussong, 1989; Gao et al., 1998). Little has been published on its application to reflection seismic data visualization and interpretation (e.g., Zhang and Simaan, 1989; Vinther et al., 1996; Gao, 1999a, b, 2001a, b, 2002). In this paper, I describe a methodology to characterize 3D seismic textures and investigate its potential geological implications. Such a methodology represents a new, effective approach to discriminating and visualizing seismic features that may not be easily recognizable using visual inspection and conventional attribute extraction algorithms.
CONCEPTS AND METHODOLOGY

ABSTRACT

Visual inspection of poststack seismic image patterns is effective in recognizing large-scale seismic features; however, it is not effective in extracting quantitative information to visualize, detect, and map seismic features in an automatic and objective manner. Although conventional seismic attributes have significantly enhanced interpreters’ ability to quantify seismic visualization and interpretation, very few attributes are published to characterize both intratrace and intertrace relationships of amplitudes from a three-dimensional (3D) perspective. These relationships are fundamental to the characterization and identification of certain geological features. Here, I present a volume texture extraction method to overcome these limitations. In a two-dimensional (2D) image domain where data samples are visualized by pixels (picture elements), a texture has been typically characterized based on a planar texel (textural element) using a gray level co-occurrence matrix. I extend the concepts to a 3D seismic domain, where reflection amplitudes are visualized by voxels (volume picture elements). By evaluating a voxel co-occurrence matrix (VCM) based on a cubic texel at each of the voxel locations, the algorithm extracts a plurality of volume textural attributes that are difficult to obtain using conventional seismic attribute extraction algorithms. Case studies indicate that the VCM texture extraction method helps visualize and detect major structural and stratigraphic features that are fundamental to robust seismic interpretation and successful hydrocarbon exploration.

INTRODUCTION

Since the early 1980s, three-dimensional (3D) seismic imaging technology has significantly contributed to subsurface geologic mapping and hydrocarbon exploration in the petroleum industry. From high-quality 3D seismic data, exploration geologists are able to recognize large-scale seismic features by visual inspection of seismic reflection patterns. However, be-

A seismic texture, as opposed to other image textures, is defined as a reflection amplitude pattern that is characterized by the magnitude and variation of neighboring acoustic samples at a given location in a seismic volume (Gao, 1999a, b, 2001a, b, 2002). At each of the sample locations, a seismic texture is evaluated by analyzing an array of neighboring reflection

Manuscript received by the Editor December 26, 2001; revised manuscript received February 3, 2003. ∗ Marathon Oil Corporation, Computer-Aided Interpretation, P.O. Box 3128, Houston, Texas 77253-3128. E-mail: dgao@marathonoil.com. c 2003 Society of Exploration Geophysicists. All rights reserved. 1294

g ( p . Gao.g. the inclined reflection pattern (C) on the hanging wall is distinct from the reflection pattern on the footwall (D) of the listric fault. but not both. 1989. the VCM is normally different in different directions. Reed and Hussong. a texel is a minicube that consists of N x × N y × Nz voxels (volume picture elements) in the inline. 1. r ) ⊃ (x . g (m . 1999a. For example. a horizontal window ( N x = N y Nz ). β ) of the respective VCM can be mathematically expressed as follows (Reed and Hussong. . q .. j .. o).g. the texel size and aspect ratio can be quite different to achieve special objectives. Fundamentally different from other digital images. Here. the element E (i . if a seismic data set has N g gray levels ( N g = 256 for 8-bit data). Haralick et al. By definition. 1998). Such an array of reflection amplitudes is here referred to as a seismic texture element (texel) (Figure 1) (e. 1999b) that is equivalent to the gray level co-occurrence matrix (GLCM) previously used in 2D image texture analysis (e. n − q = 0. N x and N y range from 3 to 9. visualized. α . More specifically. for example. n . Gao et al. there are differences in internal textures between the high-amplitude laterally coherent interval (A) and the low-amplitude discontinuous interval (B). 1989): E (i . Such different reflection patterns can be identified. A trace segment ( N x = N y Nz ). I choose to evaluate the point-relational statistics on a 3D texel basis using a voxel co-occurrence matrix (VCM) (Gao. These amplitudes of opposite polarities are aligned laterally in both inline and crossline directions to form a coherent stratal pattern of reflection amplitudes. and Nz ranges from 7 to 21 to extract meaningful textural information. which is equivalent to that commonly used in horizontal image analysis. the VCM for a texel at each of the sample locations is a square symmetrical matrix consisting of N g × N g elements. y -axis (α = 90◦ . however. For three orthogonal directions (Figure 2b) along the x -axis (α = 0◦ . At the shallow structural level. b. q . β = 0◦ ).Volume Seismic Texture Analysis 1295 amplitudes. j .. 1973. and z -axis (β = 90◦ ). Due to the stratal pattern of the seismic images. 2002). At the deep structural level. β ) at i th row and j th column of the matrix denotes the number of times (frequency) in the texel that a voxel with amplitude i (< Ng ) is neighbored by a voxel with amplitude j (< N g ) in the direction of α and β (Figures 2a and 2b). which is geometrically equivalent to the analysis window commonly used in various seismic processing and attribute extraction algorithms. o − r = 0. Typically. crossline. 2001a. A cubic texel. Reed and Hussong. z )).. for example. and vertical directions. To characterize such a unique pattern. j . a texel is typically a rectangular or square that is formed by a finite number of neighboring pixels (picture elements). Gao et al. is fundamental for 3D image feature discrimination and visualization.. (1) FIG. 1973. respectively (Figures 1 and 2a). α . b. In certain cases. n . In the 3D seismic domain. captures lateral variations in the inline or crossline direction. Haralick et al. and mapped quantitatively using the texture extraction method (see Figures 5 and 8). is typically used to characterize waveform but not the trace-to-trace variations. (|m − p | = 1.. the elements E (i . y . The VCM is a statistical representation of the amplitude pattern of a texel in a tabular format. 0) = {((m . The texel size and aspect ratio are flexible and dependent upon the exploration objectives. 1989. Four cubic texel (3D texture element) examples at four different locations in a seismic amplitude volume. β = 0◦ ). ( p . a 3D reflection seismic image consists of vertical traces with alternating positive and negative amplitudes (Figure 1). can be used to emphasize the lateral but not vertical variations in amplitude. 0. which is equivalent to that used in line-based seismic interpretation. A vertical window ( N y = Nz N x or N x = Nz N y ). which consists of a 3D array of spatially associated voxels (volume picture element) at each of the sample locations. which is equivalent to that commonly used in trace-based attribute analysis. α and β denote the azimuth and dip of a vector. respectively (Figure 2b). In previous 2D image texture analysis. r ) = j )}. 1998. along which the voxel co-occurrence is evaluated. o) = i .

. and each attribute should contribute to minimizing the nonuniqueness in texture discrimination. β = 0◦ ). The digits in the texel denote the 4-bit amplitude (16 intensity levels) requantized from the original 8-bit (256 intensity levels) input data. Figure 1). whereas texture randomness measures the amplitude predictability from one voxel to the next. n . and vertical (β = 90◦ ) directions. The texel can also be planar (2D) and linear (1D). o) = i . N Visualize and interpret attribute volumes FIG. |n − q | = 1. 90. (x . r ) in a texel.g. z )). A workflow chart for VCM seismic texture analysis. j . 2. the correlation is nonlinear. q . g (m . q . . Figures 4–9). The input is a single amplitude volume (e. g ( p . |o − r | = 1. j . o) = i . α. The requantization is performed to enhance the computational efficiency (see discussion in the text). the algorithm outputs a plurality of texture attribute volumes for subsequent interpretation (e. q . o − r = 0. 0) = {((m . r ) ⊃ (x . These three textural attributes are computed using the following equations (Haralick et al.1296 Gao E (i . (b) A schematic notation defining the direction in which the point-relational (voxel co-occurrence) statistics are evaluated. r ) = j )}. q . respectively. I found that texture homogeneity. contrast. (3) where denotes the total number of times that the voxel cooccurrence relationship defined in the braces exists in the texel. a plurality of textural attributes are derived. n . n . (2) E (i . g ( p . β = 0◦ ). (m − p = 0. 3. o) and ( p . Typically. n . o) and g ( p .g. r ) = j )}.. o). ( p . y . q .. n − q = 0. each of which describes a specific textural feature of the texel. Reed and START Retrieve seismic amplitude data Select texel size and geometry Select texture orientation Select first/next voxel location Build and requantize texel Build voxel co–occurrence matrix (VCM) Calculate texture attributes Rescale and store attributes to attribute volumes Y Next voxel location ? FIG. o). Texture homogeneity highlights the overall smoothness of amplitude and texture contrast emphasizes the magnitude of differences in amplitude of neighboring voxels. y . (m − p = 0. Based on the comparison. g (m . r ) ⊃ (x . z )). From the VCM. q . and g (m . ( p . r ) stand for the values of the two voxels at (m . 1973. z ) represents the volume extent of the 3D seismic image. n . Although there is a certain degree of correlation among these three textural attributes. respectively. 90) = {((m . (a) A schematic representation of a typical seismic cubic texel (3D). After texture extraction by evaluating textural attributes at each voxel location along different directions (Figure 2). and randomness are among the most effective ones in characterizing seismic data. n . y . the point-relational statistics are evaluated along the inline-horizontal (α = 0◦ . crossline-horizontal (α = 90◦ .

R is a normalization constant representing the maximum possible times of the co-occurrence. respectively. and z directions. β )/R . j ) represents the element at the i th row and the j th column of the VCM. β )/R ]2 . (6)  where E (i . a . β )/R ]. and n is the dimension of the VCM. and z (time or depth) directions.Volume Seismic Texture Analysis 1297 Hussong. α. (5) Randomness = − i =1 E (i . a . j . β )/R log[ E (i . j . and Rz = 2 N x N y ( Nz − 1). 0    0   0    0   0    0   0   48 (8) . respectively. examine a texel (Figure 2a) consisting of 9 × 5 × 9 voxels that are requantized to 16 gray levels (4-bit precision) from the original 256 gray levels (8-bit precision). VCMy .                  0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 10 10 10 5 0 0 10 0 20 5 10 0 10 20 0 5 0 0 5 5 5 0 5 5 0 10 0 5 0 10 0 0 0 5 10 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 32 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 0 (7) 16 0  0  0   0    0   0    0   0    0  . j . R is defined by Rx = 2( N x − 1) N y Nz . The following matrices (VCMx . Along the x (inline). y (crossline). a . for example. To demonstrate the procedure. y . 0  20  5   5  0   0  0   0 VCMx =  0   0  0   0  0   0  0  0 24  0  0   0  0   0  0   0 VCMy =  0   0  0   0  0   0  0  0  20 5 0 10 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 80 15 10 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 96 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 10 35 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 35 10 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 80 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 25 10 15 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 56 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 48 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 30 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 40 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0                   . R y = 2 N x ( N y − 1) Nz . j . n n (4) Contrast = m2 m =0 n i =1 j =1 |i − j |=m E (i . and VCMz ) are three VCMs that are derived from the texel along the x . 1989): n Homogeneity = i =1 n −1 [ E (i .

1998. Since texture homogeneity of salt is significantly higher than that in the surrounding areas. respectively (see Figure 2). and mapped effectively by propagating the seed from within the salt. Taner. 1998. or they are selected and combined to produce a feature class volume using a multivariate classification algorithm (e. To facilitate volume texture analysis in an interactive manner. a seed-based propagation may cause “bleeding” across the salt boundary and thus is not effective for automatic salt detection. are evaluated by sequentially and repeatedly executing the same process from voxel to voxel throughout the volume. contrast. These texture volumes are then visualized and interpreted individually.1298 0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0   0 0 0  15 10 10  0 0 0   0 0 0  0 0 0 VCMz =  0 0 0   0 0 0  0 0 0   0 0 0  0 0 0  0 0 0   0 0 0 0 0 0  Gao 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 10 10 5 40 5 15 0 15 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 5 0 10 15 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 10 0 20 15 10 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 20 0 0 5 10 15 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 0 15 0 0 0 0 5 15 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 10 5 0 0 5 10 0 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 10 0 5 0 0 0 5 0 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 5 10 0 0 0 5 10 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 5 0 10 0 0 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 15 20 10 0 0                  . Richards. (5). M. Orientation Texture Homogeneity Contrast Randomness x 0.1791 FIG. personal communication. y (intertrace in crossline) direction. Mapping and isolating these geological features are fundamental for constructing an accurate subsurface geological model and for exploring hydrocarbons in the subsurface. Similar problem exists with mapping and isolating many other geological features using amplitude data alone. local features are extracted. A salt canopy detected from a “seed” in a texture homogeneity cube.0353 0. 2001a). spatial feature variations. Because amplitude samples within the salt body are similar to and connected with those in the surrounding areas.0815 0. isolated. Gao. “20” in row 1 and column 2 indicates that there are 20 voxel couples of amplitude 1 neighbored by amplitude 2 along the x direction (α = 0. and Rz = 2 × 9 × 5 × 8 = 720. However.0000 0. by calculating the VCM texture attributes at a voxel location. Therefore.                 (9) In matrix (7) (VCMx ).. 4. These three VCMs are then normalized by dividing each entry with Rx = 2 × 8 × 5 × 9 = 720.g. Table 1.. and randomness for the texel shown in Figure 2.1597 y 0. R y = 2 × 9 × 4 × 9 = 648. I developed the VCM texture algorithms and interfaced them with a 3D seismic visualization system. for example. All the textural attributes are normalized to range from 0 to 1.1141 z 0. on the other hand. β = 0) within the texel cube.0078 0. the whole salt body can be detected. . Table 1 shows the texture expressions of the example texel and indicates that VCM textures are quite sensitive to the direction in which the VCM is evaluated.0443 0. the algorithm reduces the normalized VCM to textural attributes using equations (4). Example results produced from these algorithms are shown and discussed in Figures 4–9. Each textural attribute is evaluated along the x (intertrace in inline) direction.0188 0. and z (intratrace in time or depth) direction. Gao et al. Textural expressions of homogeneity. 1999b. it is generally difficult and time-consuming to define the 3D geometry of the salt body directly from the amplitude volume. the original amplitude volume is transformed into a plurality of texture attribute volumes. Finally. As a result of such a running-texel processing (Figure 3). and (6). 1993.

and the FIG. (c) Randomness (color) evaluated in the trace direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray). interpreters can effectively isolate the high-homogeneity feature (red) along a channel system by rendering transparent the low-homogeneity features (blue). The VCM seismic textures are indicative of several major seismic facies that are formed in diverse depositional settings. In a deepwater. and a high randomness (Figure 5c). 5. A low-amplitude and laterally extensive interval typically represents a thick sequence of shale with low impedance contrast in the interval. It is very difficult to visualize and isolate the same features from the original amplitude volume due to the limitation of the amplitude in discriminating channels from other geological features. for example. petroleum exploration geologists map subsurface geology primarily based on reflection seismic patterns. and low randomness (blue) correspond to the laterally extensive. In a turbidite system. Such a feature has an abnormally high homogeneity (Figure 4). detect. (b) Contrast (color) evaluated in the trace direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray). thickness. depending on the morphology. (c) A homogeneity cube with opacity filter applied. It has a relatively low homogeneity (Figure 5a). that low homogeneity (blue). and high randomness (red) are associated with the acoustically different pattern “B” (see Figure 1 for location). whereas high homogeneity (red). Notice. and coherent pattern is generally associated with sheetlike deposits of high impedance contrast. successful exploration of subsurface geology requires effective seismic pattern recognition and visualization technologies. and lithology of channels. high contrast (red). a high-amplitude. It has variable textural features. . From homogeneity data. 6. low-amplitude seismic feature with an amplitude high at the top is typically indicative of a salt body. a linear or sin- uous feature on a map view with a concave or lenticular shape on a sectional view (Figures 6a and 6b) is generally associated with a channel. and map major geological features from a new perspective. (a) Homogeneity (color) evaluated in the trace direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray). low-energy depositional setting. For example. Three different texture attributes overlaid with the amplitude on the same section demonstrating how these attributes help distinguish and isolate intervals of different amplitude patterns. VCM texture analysis represents one such technology that allows exploration geologists to visualize. a high contrast (Figure 5b). laterally extensive. a low contrast (Figure 5b). Therefore. low contrast (blue). which is particularly the case in frontier sedimentary basins where little direct observational data are available. in an offshore depositional setting. and a low randomness (Figure 5c). a domeshaped. (b) A texture homogeneity section. high-amplitude pattern “A”.Volume Seismic Texture Analysis GEOLOGICAL IMPLICATIONS 1299 In contrast to field geologists who map surface geology based on direct observations of outcrop structural and stratigraphic patterns. It has a high homogeneity (Figure 5a). FIG. (a) An original amplitude section. Case examples (Figures 4–9) indicate that the VCM methodology significantly enhances interpreters’ ability to visualize and detect major structural and stratigraphic features that may otherwise not be easily recognizable and detectable.

For example. the algorithm helps enhance faults or fractures with a preferred orientation (Figures 9a and 9b). Notice that the channel/levee deposits can be recognized. it may have a low homogeneity and a high contrast (Figure 9c). 7. selecting textural attributes is a critical step from seismically extracted textures to a geologically meaningful prediction and .. VCM textures are able to differentiate between seismic features having different geometry and orientations (Figures 8 and 9). high contrast) along a fault zone (Figure 9b) enable interpreters to map and detect faults and their spatial connectivity more efficiently than visual inspection and manual picking. downlaps. In addition to geological complexities. progradational depositional features that have characteristic reflection geometry in the offshore depositional setting from the shelf margin down to the basin floor. Because they are sensitive to dip and azimuth of seismic reflections (e. This enhancement is achieved not only by the texture attribute anomalies along the faults (Figure 9). thickness. Thus. can only be accommodated by increasing the size of the texel. Unlike the coherence algorithm that highlights external geometry and boundaries of geological features such as faults and channels. lithology. First. such sensitivity also helps identify and map unconformities. due to the complexity and nonuniqueness of seismic response to the subsurface geology. With massive deposits. Whereas in the 3D image space. However. the same processing parameters (texel size and dimension) and a normalized color mapping function are used. In addition. and facies architecture of channel-levee systems in submarine turbidite systems may be distinctive in different sedimentary basins or at different times as a sedimentary basin evolves. VCM texture analysis emphasizes their internal textures that provide hints on the facies variations within fault blocks or channel systems (Figure 9c). and other oblique. the direction sensitivity helps enhance the visibility of both high-angle normal or wrench faults and low-angle detachment or listric faults. data quality.. with heterogeneous lithology and complex depositional geometry. and frequency attenuation with depth may also affect textural signatures of geological features. VCM textures help define fault zone geometry. mapped. Thus. which have different textural features than the channel-fill deposits (Figures 6 and 7). Second. In addition. To avoid a biased comparison. kinematics. Figures 8 and 9). Three-dimensional texel-based VCM texture extraction has many advantages over conventional 2D texel-based GLCM texture extraction. A laterally more extensive and coherent feature that systematically distributes on both sides of channels or in the distal portion of a channel-fan system generally suggests levee/overbank deposits or lobes. These internal facies variations may not be visible to the coherence algorithm. universal correlation between seismic textures and geological features that can be applied to any data sets in any geological settings. a reliable extraction of the VCM seismic textures requires a sufficient number of samples that. onlaps.1300 Gao lateral/vertical partitioning patterns of the channel deposits. DISCUSSION FIG. Table 1. A comparison between average absolute amplitude (a) and homogeneity (b) in a horizon slice at the same stratigraphic level. and detected more effectively from the homogeneity volume than from the amplitude volume. Similarly. thereby decreasing the resolution of the results. and allows evaluating textural features along different directions in 3D space.g. which are all important to the understanding of depositional and deformational history of a sedimentary basin. the accommodation problem is solved by an additional.g. anomalous textural features (e. there is no simple. Such internal amplitude patterns can be better defined on a volume texture basis from a 3D perspective. the 3D texel-based processing significantly reduces interpretational biases and overcomes limitations of 2D texture processing and visual inspection. for example. it may have a high homogeneity and a low contrast (Figures 6 and 7). and relationships to the depositional facies (Figure 9). The structural and stratigraphic implications of VCM textures are attributable to the fact that different deformational and depositional features have characteristic internal amplitude patterns in response to the differences in acoustic impedance configuration and distribution patterns. variable acquisition and processing parameters. thereby significantly enhancing the spatial resolution of the results. a 3D texel includes textural information from both inline and crossline directions. but also by textural differences across the faults (Figure 8). Such sensitivity helps highlight and detect deformational features such as rollover anticlines or monoclines on the hanging walls of listric normal faults (Figure 8) or slumps in mass transport complexes. third dimension of the texel cube. By evaluating VCM textures in a specific direction. in the 2D image space. Such textural differences are particularly obvious across listric faults where the hanging walls have different dip and azimuth from the foot walls due to the rotational deformation that occurs in the vicinity of listric faults (Figure 8). Since prediction and classification of the subsurface geology rely on the input textural attributes.

isolate. reservoir continuity. Case examples indicate that the VCM textural attributes have important implications for visualizing and mapping structural and stratigraphic features. 1998). a good understanding of geological implications of each textural attribute is fundamental to a robust interpretation and meaningful classification of the subsurface geology from seismic textures in a specific geological setting. or more effectively by searching the instantaneous dip of reflection events similar to evaluating the coherence in the presence of structural dip (Marfurt et al. CONCLUSIONS VCM seismic texture analysis. Thus. They also help identify and highlight faults with a preferred orientation and a complex geometry from a 3D perspective. Notice the differences in textures between the hanging wall (C) and the footwall (D) (see Figure 1 for location). Although this sensitivity is favorable in certain aspects of structural and stratigraphic interpretation. I found that texture contrast is more sensitive to the direction than homogeneity and randomness. Unfortunately. In addition. mapping and delineating both the listric fault and the rollover monocline are important for understanding migration pathways.. For example. VCM texture analysis significantly enhances exploration geologists’ ability to visualize. 1973. Reed and Hussong. VCM textures help identify and map rollover structures or slumps produced by rotational deformation in the vicinity of listric or detachment faults. 8.. and map critical seismic features that are fundamental FIG. For example. the enhancement in computational efficiency is achieved at the expense of sacrificing the bit resolution of the original data set. a sand-filled channel can be discriminated from levee/overbank deposits based on their distinctive homogeneity and contrast. thereby significantly improving the computational efficiency (Haralick et al. In an attempt to solve this problem. Three different texture attributes overlaid with the amplitude on the same section demonstrating how these attributes help enhance the listric normal fault and rollover structures. 1989. Gao et al. and the distinctive textures of the rollover monocline. (c) Randomness (color) evaluated in the crossline direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray). (b) Contrast (color) evaluated in the crossline direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray).. the algorithm typically requantizes all the texels to 4-bit ( N g = 16). VCM textures are sensitive to the dip and azimuth of reflection events (Table 1). it may also be unfavorable in interpreting depositional facies if the dip and azimuth variations are the result of postdepositional tectonic deformation. for an 8-bit ( N g = 256) amplitude volume. (a) Homogeneity (color) evaluated in the crossline direction and co-rendered with original amplitude (gray). a salt body can be efficiently isolated due to its high homogeneity and low contrast. Like any other seismic-attribute extraction algorithms that involve multiple wiggle traces in the analysis window. and trapping geometry of the hydrocarbon system. . a new methodology extended from classical 2D image analysis to 3D seismic interpretation. Such a perspective sheds new lights on certain geological features that may not be easily recognizable and detectable from the amplitude and other conventional seismic attributes. helps visualize and detect seismic features from a different perspective than conventional seismic-attribute analysis. A practical solution to that problem is to run the algorithm within the interval and area of interest or on an interpreted horizon. the algorithm has to manipulate a 256 × 256 matrix at each sample location throughout the volume. Based on the comparison. The effect can be minimized by reducing the texel size along the inline and/or crossline directions. In this specific example. Thus. and thus the process is computationally intensive for a large data volume that contains billions of voxels. The VCM texture extraction methodology has a major limitation in computational efficiency for high-resolution 3D seismic data. 1999).Volume Seismic Texture Analysis 1301 classification.

. and Sheriff. 610–621. 1104–1106. Taner. C. 9. SMC-3. R. M. A. If. 141–159.. Seismic attributes revisited: 64th Ann. and other attributes to stratigraphic and hydrocarbon determination.. M.. D. Geophys. in Aminzadeh. I. Mosegaard. 7469–7490.. J. H. Ed. Expl. and contrast evaluated along the z direction (c) helps identify depositional features such as channels.. A. These interpretations are shown in (d) based on the observations from the texture data shown in (a). M. 1995. Textural features for image classification: IEEE Tran. Weszka.. I used the application program interface (API) functions from Magic Earth Inc. Shanmugam. R. Richards. 1053–1058. 1996. and Nielsen.5. 1976. C. SMC-6. Sudhaker. J. J. F. and Hussong. Delaney. and Simaan. Vinther.. 1977. Thanks are due to Sharon Crawford. Proc.. T. and Farmer. and Cybernetics. Expanded Abstracts. . V. Soc. Application of amplitude. 103. and Cybernetics. T. 301–327. Journal reviews by the associate editor Kurt J. Systems. Res. ——— 2001b. B. 57–63. and Dinstein. (a) Texture contrast along the x direction (east-west). The channels to the west were developed after the major fault displacement and ran across the fault. Expl. Z.. S. E. 14. 1989. F. Marfurt. Geophys. The geometric relationship between the major fault (F) and the two conjugate fractures (f1 and f2) suggests left-lateral displacement along the fault. J. E.. and the regional geology of the study area. paper 2. Also note that there are at least two stages of channel development (c).. 65.. M.. Expanded Abstracts. Computer-aided interpretation of side-looking sonar images from the eastern intersection of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge with the Kane transform: J. Knowledge-based reasoning in seisis: A rules-based system for interpretation of seismic sections based on texture. whereas contrast evaluated along the y direction (b) highlights the primary east-west trending fault and fractures f2.. R. Expert systems in exploration: Soc. R. Soc. Method for analyzing and classifying three dimensional seismic information: US Patent 6 226 596. E. (d) Interpretation. 1998. T.. M. S. A.. Gao. Notice that contrast evaluated along the x direction (a) helps highlight the north-south trending fractures f1.. 3-D seismic discontinuity for faults and stratigraphic features: The coherence cube: The Leading Edge. Mtg... 1037–1039. 1989... D.. R... Gao. K. Soc.. ——— 1999b. in the development of the VCM texture extraction and visualization algorithms. Vejbaek. A comparative study of texture measures for terrain classification: IEEE Trans. S... E. REFERENCES Bahorich.. Geophys.. Geophys. (c). I am grateful to Marathon management for permission to publish this work. J. Texas. Austin. and Paradigm Geophysical Inc. K. Systems. 3-D VCM seismic textures: A new technology to quantify seismic interpretation: 69th Ann. Hurst.. Karson. Seismic stratigraphy—applications to hydrocarbon exploration: AAPG Memoir. Man. Haralick.. P... Man. K. and Geophysical Society of Houston Spring Symposium. D. 1999. 64. Taner. 269–285. and Rosenfeld. and Spiess. 1999a... D. Geophys. M. and Seitel. Eds. Marfurt and two anonymous reviewers helped improve the quality of the paper... frequency. Expl.. Gersztenkorn. Houston. O’Doherty.. 20997–21014. in Graul. and Taner.. Coherency calculations in the presence of structural dip: Geophysics. 94. V. Remote sensing digital image analysis. ——— 2002. Europe. 3D seismic texture classification: SPE/Norwegian Petr. Seismic texture visualization and interpretation: An overview. D.. S. SpringerVerlag. Schuelke. Mtg. 62.. 9.. Texas. and Baysal... A45.. The channels to the east was developed prior to the fault displacement and were subsequently truncated and offset left laterally by the fault. 1993. Reed. Crawford. Seismic textures aid exploration: Offshore.. Expl. Tom Evans. 8. and Nissen. 3-D Reservoir Modeling Conf. Reservoir resolution through comprehensive use of seismic data attributes: Soc. (c) Texture contrast along the z direction (vertical). (b) Texture contrast along the y direction (north-south). and Simaan. Such an interpretation is consistent with the offset of the prefault depositional facies across the fault. Res. T. The first-order and the second-order seismic textures: AAPG Abstracts with Programs. 1994. Andersen. K. 26. No. Digital image processing techniques for enhancement and classification of SeaMARC II side-scan sonar imagery: J. and Steve Peterson for their support and suggestions in this study.. M. 1973. FIG. Geophys. in Payton.1302 Gao to robust geological interpretation and successful hydrocarbon exploration. The 3D seismic data sets used in this publication are provided courtesy of the Bureau of Economic Geology. ——— 2001a... C. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I started this study at Exxon Production Research Company (in 1997) and developed it at Marathon Oil Corporation (in 1998). 104–111. M. (b). O. I. Internat. Zhang. Internat. S.. Dyer.. Eds. A. Abatzis. J. F.