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Funny what you find

When you strip heavy noise off.Here

you see the sharp outline of a salt
dome brought out by my advanced
removal logic.
If you continue, you will see that the salt boundaries
were not at all clear on normal processing, and,
amazing as it may seem, the outstanding flank
events were mostly not even visible.
To achieve this improvement I had to go back to the
shot gather where the coherent noise events are
pure. I start by showing the shot gather set. Then a
series of detected noise events lined up by their
computed offsets.
Once picked as the strongest, that noise energy is
predicted and subtracted from the working buffer.
This process is continued until the system is unable
to find more noise. At this point it computes a new
down wave, refreshes the working buffer with original
data and starts a new iteration. The show starts with
a display of seven of these consecutive passes, each
the result of one iteration.
The theme then moves to proving the noise events
are real, then tells the story of how the dome grew as
a function of salt passing through the strike slip
breaks under the pressure of the moving mass.


Of a

David Paige
Made visible by advanced
non-linear noise removal.

Youre looking at a field shot point, where the

traces have been sorted by absolute offset.
Note the first arrival pattern If we were seeing
reflection data, the curvature would be convex.
Instead it is concave.
As we will see as we move on, this phenomenon is caused by the
presence of over-lapping, linear refractions traveling horizontally.
As the velocity increases with depth, the lower ones catch up and
cross over, causing the concavity.

Now notice the strong energy above the green arrow.

Contrary to traditional thinking, this is not ground roll waves
traveling along the surface. Instead it is strong noise moving
downward at a much slower velocity. We will prove by this
series of slides that it spawns refractions that extend well into
the spread. No one worried much about refractions, assuming
the stack would eliminate them. Not so, we have found. In fact
they often stack very nicely, and much of what we see can be
most misleading. This, of course, is the theme of this

Why you cant see the coherent noise.

To begin, the first break energy is so strong that to avoid jamming,
amplification has to be set very low. Of course the power of
automated pattern recognition is so great that we can detect the
presence of these events at a very low level. The vertical offsets of
each lobe are separated by the very steep slope of the noise event.
In order for spatial pattern recognition to stack them in, it first has
to line them up. Finding the best slope to accomplish this is where
the almost infinite series of iterations comes into play.
Central to the success of the method is the ability to lift off the
detected noise energy without unduly disturbing the weaker energy
lying below.Again the repeated success in converging to remarkable
well log matches supplies the logical proof.

Leaving with a couple of slopes

To close out the point. The farther we can correlate an event into the spread the more secure
we are in saying it is internal rather than surface noise. Next, we get back to the salt dome theme.

Back to the salt dome.

The emphasis on this slide is the
parameters entered to tell the
However, we did know there was
s fault dome, and we pretty well
knew where it was. So when the
seismic processing cleaned up
the noise that was overlapping the
flank information, removing it
completely over the salt, that is a
pretty big deal.
Of course I have added my own
outline in brown to enhance the
picture, and a couple of strike slip
faults, but the logic did the work.

At the left I added a

fault match from a
shale prospect to
the north.
You might notice the
correlation between
the straight stack of
noise corrected data
and that product. It
is important to note
that coherent noise
had obliterated all of
these events.

The dome, conceptually,

with some in-lines,

followed by a nearby strike slip study for comparison. Unfortunately,

I do not have the

original intermediate sections to show
how the strike slip faults gradually
converged as they neared the actual
salt dome, so I have to ask that you
take my word.. The section on the next
slide was the last one on the left where
I could separate the faults. The same
transition was true on the right side of
the dome.

The section on the left is from a nearby project.

The reason for including it here is that careful study pretty well proves
the strike slip concept. The use of my sonic log simulation inversion
and integration was crucial to the fault delineation. I had not yet run
those functions on this prospect, so up to now the emphasis has been
on the remarkable improvement due to noise removal.
The remainder of the show is on that breakthrough. While illustrating
the power of the removal techniques is a primary goal, showing how
the strong noise is intertwined with the previously hidden signal is
almost as important.

More on the role of strike slip faults in

the evolution of salt domes.
We back up here to a section that precedes the dome.
It is directly in line with the trend, and we see that the
faults are there. The salt has just not intruded yet. We
find the same thing on the other end of the dome.
Once more we say we shouldn't be arguing about
whether strike slip faults exist, since common sense
tells us they have to (if we believe in continental plate
moves). Whether I have tracked them accurately is
beyond the point. The chunks of real continuity here
are all the proof we need.
The continuity to the left poses a very interesting
possibility that we are looking at a disconformity that
separates movement time periods.

The before and after pairs on the next 6 slides

compare data from an earlier shoot with the results
derived from the new shot format data. Since the early
in-lines just lapped into the dome we have to be
satisfied comparing the flank information

At the bottom, on our deep target, we see a bright

spot that probably points to hydrocarbons. Again, the
faults have split the reservoirs so were forced into the
mode of searching for longer reservoir stretches.

You are going to see a lot of events in the next slides. The main point of the show is
the removal of strong coherent noise has brought out a previously unseen geological reality. .

Conventional stack

Paiges stack of traces de-noised at shot

This was a salt dome effort.. Conventional

processing had shown strong dips on what was
thought to be the flanks. It was the hope of the
geologist that my noise removal would enhance the
picture. Unfortunately, as we will see later, it called
those events noise, and nicely took them out. For
some reason he then lost interest, not apparently
sharing my excitement about the major
breakthrough I am seeing

For a before and after comparison. .In

your mind, pick up the left display and imagine it
between the yellow lines (to see the approximate
lineup). While you might think the events are the
same, closer examination will show that they are
not. Much more on this later.

This enhanced resolution leads to the next

major thrust of the presentation, which is to show
the complex set of strike slip faults (resulting from
deep plate movement) precipitated salt intrusions.
Strike slip faults are tough to track. They can
curve all over our two dimensional display. When I
first began to see them, suggesting their presence
to others met with some derision, since all were
used to the linear lineups of normal, down to the
sea lineups. As my pre-stack noise removal got
more effective, their presence became clear.

I show a major bounding fault. Ill then

superimpose it on the conventional stack. I repeat
that for two more. The purpose is to provide you a
framework to examine the marked difference in
resolution between the two processing versions.
Whether you believe in the faults themselves is not
so important at this point. I will work that problem

Finishing up


Another before and after, some distance away,

I circle the high hopes of
the geologist. this pattern is what
he had seen on the processing all
through this salt dome prospect.

He assumed my noise removal

logic would fine tune the high dip
data, and, by applying advanced
velocity and depth conversion
techniques he could achieve a
drilling accuracy that would make
the tremendous processing task
worth the effort.

Unfortunately my de-noising
logic has a mind of its own, and it
completely obliterated his targets
This left him with no payout, and
he lost interest in the big technical
breakthroughs. At the same time I
was overjoyed at the results. This
led to an eventual conflict, and I
was told to destroy everything that
has been done. Since this did not
start out as a processing contract,
and since Ive essentially worked
for free I have refused to drop the
subject, although you will find no
location information in this show.
So I am still holding my breath,
which is pretty hard at my age.

And here are two pairs of before and afters. The outlines in yellow show the approximate comparison sections.
Bounding fault
guesses are drawn
in to give positional

The arrows are

there to show major
events are not the
same on the two

Most important
here is the deep
unconformity visible
on both examples. It
only appeared after
shot level de-noising.
By my correlation
the combination of
events we see here
ties to a deep well to
the south. The shale
play bed correlation
was made there..
If you look closely
in the center you see
pieces of continuity.
I firmly believe we
are seeing very
complex salt
intruded faulting

And here are two more pairs of before and afters. The outlines in yellow show the approximate comparison sections.
What can I say? If this
pair of examples does not
convince you that we are
looking at a new world of
enhanced resolution I may
have to give up.

For my convenience
I will henceforth refer to the
conventional processing as
they, and to the de-noised
output as my.

So: Where I show strong,

stratigraphically believable
events, they mostly show
nothing. Where they show
their best continuity, my
results most often remove
their events. This pair of
examples shows multiple
cases of this phenomenon.

I thank anyone who

thinks Im smart enough
to engineer this contrast
artificially. In other words
I claim this to be a logical
proof that overlying noise
and signal can produce a
very confused picture.
By the way This data
is still raw no
was run.

And here are two pairs of before and afters. The outlines in yellow show the approximate comparison sections.
The ? Shows that
my resolution is still far
from perfect, and the
fault pattern eludes me.

And here are two pairs of before and afters. The outlines in yellow show the approximate comparison sections.
You can see
I did not draw in
any faults on the
right flank. I hope
by now you can
visualize where I
would put them.
we get serious
about this on the
next slide.

Strike slip faults are a whole new world to most older interpreters.

The tearing
action that results from shallower beds being torn part by deep plate lateral movement has made vertical faulting
the norm in todays interpretations, Here is an exotic example from the right end of the dome.
The fact that we can see these remarkable lineups
speaks well for our separation of the coherent noise from this underlying signal.

While your mind is still open

it is a good time to discuss strike

slip faulting. The existence of deep plate movement taking place after eons of
sedimentation is now universally accepted. Such movement has to tear the
upper beds apart as it occurs. I call this common sense fact. In other words
one cannot exist without the other, so let us not argue about their existence.
Being able to track them is another matter, and that is where better resolution
is vital.

We say normal faults are due to pulling, and thrust faults due to pushing. We then
can say that strike slip faults are due to tearing (we could call it lateral pulling but it
is not quire the same).

In both traditionally accepted fault types, the shear is essentially at

right angle to the sedimentation, and bed offsets across these faults only vary if the
fault is changing throw with depth. The shear tends to flatten any bed protuberances
making the faults somewhat linear. This fact and the presence of consistent offsets,
make the picking relatively easy.

If stratigraphy remained constant, we would see no bed offsets across

tear faults, and this is often the case. Again we see that our two dimensional display
is at right angles to the strike slip faults, so verticality should be the rule rather than
the exception. Plus there is no reason they should not wander all over our sections.

Sharing of lateral movement need between multiple faults should

not surprise us since the tearing action might not form bonds, and continued plate
movement might find new zones of weakness. Obviously lithology will be a factor. In
the same sense, we should not expect trapping across a fault unless stratigraphic
changes have put barriers in place.

I dont know about you, but I see dozens of minor faults I close
out by picking seven of them. As you can see the ones on the left reach into the salt
domain. Typically there is a sharing of the lateral movement by multiple breaks.