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For the seismic data with low SNRs, the first arrival automatic picking method is very important but difficult. In the paper, we proposed a new method based on the mutual information in information theory. The mutual information between signals and noises is zeros, thus random noises have less effects on first arrivals pickup. The paper compares the principle of STA/LTA, AIC, fractal dimension of three kinds with the proposed method for seismic data first–break picking method, and at the same times, the paper presents a detailed test and verification of the simulation data, and compares first–break picking accuracy and efficiency of the three algorithms through actual data with different S/N ratios. The results show that for the data with high S/N ratio, first break picking accuracy of these four methods is relatively high. When SNR decreases, first–arrival time that the proposed method picks has higher precision and good noise immunity. However, mutual information based method has lower efficiency and is limited by algorithm principle. it is difficult to separately pick first breaks for fractal dimension and AIC method. So it is a very good method to identify seismic events and determine preliminarily the time range of first breaks by the proposed method.

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org/ie InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015

doi:10.14355/ie.2015.04.008

FirstBreakoftheSeismicSignalsBasedon

InformationTheory

HongJiuZhang

ResearchinstituteofBPG,CNPC,Zhuozhou072750,China

paulra@126.com

Abstract

FortheseismicdatawithlowSNRs,thefirstarrivalautomaticpickingmethodisveryimportantbutdifficult.Inthepaper,we

proposedanewmethodbasedonthemutualinformationininformationtheory.Themutualinformationbetweensignalsand

noises is zeros, thus random noises have less effects on first arrivals pickup. The paper compares the principle of STA/LTA,

AIC,fractaldimensionofthreekindswiththeproposedmethodforseismicdatafirstbreakpickingmethod,andatthesame

times,thepaperpresentsadetailedtestandverificationofthesimulationdata,andcomparesfirstbreakpickingaccuracyand

efficiencyofthethreealgorithmsthroughactualdatawithdifferentS/Nratios.TheresultsshowthatforthedatawithhighS/N

ratio, first break picking accuracy of these four methods is relatively high. When SNR decreases, firstarrival time that the

proposedmethodpickshashigherprecisionandgoodnoiseimmunity.However,mutualinformationbasedmethodhaslower

efficiency and is limited by algorithm principle. it is difficult to separately pick first breaks for fractal dimension and AIC

method.Soitisaverygoodmethodtoidentifyseismiceventsanddeterminepreliminarilythetimerangeoffirstbreaksbythe

proposedmethod.

Keywords

SeismicData;FirstArrivals;Pickup;InformationTheory;MutualInformation

Introduction

Inseismicexploration,firstbreakpickingisthetaskofdetermining,givenasetofseismictraces,theonsetsofthe

firstsignalarrivalsasaccuratelyaspossible.Ingeneral,thesearrivalsareassociatedwiththeenergyofrefracted

wavesatthebaseoftheweatheringlayerortothedirectwavethattravelsdirectlyfromthesourcetothereceiver

[5].

The accurate determination of the first arrivals onset firstbreak times is needed for calculating the static

corrections, a fundamental stage of seismic data processing. Clearly, the effectiveness of reflection and

refractionbased methods of static corrections depends on the pickingprocess reliability. At the same times,

applications such as nearsurface tomographic static corrections tomographic statics require rapid automated

detectionofthesignalfirst.

Generally, firstbreak quality is related to the nearsurface structure, source type, and signaltonoise ratio S/N

conditions.Asaconsequence,theautomatedpickingoffirstbreakscanbeaverydifficulttaskifdataareaacquired

in complex nearsurfaces scenarios or if the S/N is low. Moreover, if the source wavelet is zerophase as when

vibroseissourcesareused,thesweepcorrelationoftenproducessidelobesthatarrivebeforethefirstbreak,thus

makingthepickingprocessevenmoredifficult.

First arrival pickup of seismic waves, so far, has had a lot of methods. According to the criterion, firstarrival

picking algorithms can be divided into several types of methods, including the coherence method [3, 4]

crosscorrelationmethod[2],neuralnetworkmethod[1]andfractaldimensionmethods[7].Forthecoherenceand

neural network methods, some kinds of patterns are assumed for picking the first arrivals. Therefore, pattern

recognitionofthistypeiseffectiveifasimpleearthmodelexiststomodeltheearthstructure.However,thissimple

earthmodel rarely matches the nearsurface conditions when studied with the detail required of most modern

surveys [6]. The advantages of the crosscorrelation methods are that the algorithm is based on tracebytrace

evaluationofthefirstarrivaltimesandareconsideredtobemostappropriateforthenearsurfacesurveys.

In the paper, we proposed a robust method of firstbreak picking for data sets with high noise levels through

38

InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015 www.seipub.org/ie

theuse of the information theory on seismic records. Using synthetic shot records with various noise levels, we

showedthattheperformanceofthisproposedmethodenhancesfirstarrivals,whichhelpsinpickingthem.This

was particularly true when the noise level was high where picking on raw amplitudes completely fails. The

method can be used to guide better the subsequent careful picking of first arrivals and requires one forward. In

contrast to methods based on tracebytrace picking that often fail to pick some traces, the proposed method

automaticallyinterpolatesmissingpicks.

Basics of Information Theory

Theaverageamountofinformationgainedfromagivendiscretespace X istheentropy Y ,

H ( X ) P xi log P xi (1)

i

Ifthelogistakentothebasetwo, H isinunitsofbits.Entropyofinformationininformationtheorycanbedefined

as follows. For given discrete probability space, which expressed information source and the information source

defined random variable I . The mathematical expectation of I is entropy of information of information source,

whoseunitisbit/symbol.

H ( X ) E[ I ( x)] p( xi ) log p( xi ) (2)

i

Theconventionalmutualinformationhasbeendefinedas:

I X Y X Y f XY x y ln

f XY x y

f X x fY y

dxdy (3)

variables X and Y ,respectively.

Mutualinformationcanalsobeequivalentlyexpressedas:

I ( X Y ) H (Y ) H (Y X )

(4)

I ( X Y ) H ( X ) H (Y ) H ( XY )

Actually, the mutual information is very difficult to calculate since the probabilities of variables X and Y are

quite difficult to get. In the paper, we propose a new method to calculate the mutual information based on the

recursiveidea.Inprinciple,themutualinformationisakindofmeasuringhowdependentthevariableof X are

onthevariableof Y .

Bymakingtheassignment, s q x t x t T ,wecanconsiderageneralsystem S Q ,thentheuncertainty

j

is si .Atthesametime,theaverageuncertaintyinameasurementof x atthetime t T canbeshowngiventhat

x hasbeenmeasuredattime t ,

H Q S Ps si H Q si H S Q H S (6)

i

where,

H S Q Pq s q j si log Pq s q j si (7)

i j

39

www.seipub.org/ie InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015

I Q S H Q H Q S (8)

Itisimportantthatmutualinformationisnotafunctionofthevariables s and q ,butthatitisafunctionalofthe

jointprobabilitydistribution Psq .If s and q arethesametowithinthenoise,then S Q specifiestherelative

accuracy of the measurements in bits, i.e., how much information one measurement gives about a second

measurementofthesamevariable.

If S isadelayedimageof Q ,thenadelayphaseportraitgivestheestimatedjointdistribution Psq and I isa

statisticcalculatedontheportraitthatevaluateshowredundantthesecondaxisis.

New Method for First Arrivals

The calculation method of mutual information of the arbitrary A and B two channels on seismic record is

performedwiththesoftwareSmartSignalProcessingdevelopedbyProf.MingYueZHAIatNorthChinaElectric

PowerUniversity,andstepsareasfollows:

(1):Firstly,weshouldintercepttheseismicwavewhoselengthis L on A channel,takendown: {x (n)}n 01,...L 1 ,

lastwecountthesamplingpointthatfallsintotheeveryintervalandcalculatetheprobabilitydistribution p ( x)

ofsequence {x ( n)}n 01,...L 1 .

(2):Secondly,

{x (n)}n 01,... L 1

{x (n)}n 01,... L 1

and

is taken down when it slides one time, and this mutual information is the one of the

{ y ( n d )}n 01... L 1 .Forthechannel B ,wewillfilltheinsufficientpartswithrandomsequences,andthenwecan

getthemutualinformation I (d ) .

(3):For, I (d ) , d 01,... .Themaximal ( d ) is I ( Dmax ) .Now,wethinkthisisthefirstarrivaltime.ThevalueofL

ismorethan 100 .ThevalueofMisabout 16 to 64 .

In the foresaid algorithm, the seismic mutual information of channel A and channel B need to be calculated.

Because calculation is very complicated, the paper improves the algorithm in order to reduce the amount of

calculation.

Throughthecalculationofmutualinformation,wegetthemaximalvalueofthemutualinformation.Thetimethat

itcorrespondsisfirstarrivaltimeofseismicwaves.Thismethodismoreaccuratethantheratioofenergymethod.

However, it needs to calculate mutual information from the first channel to the last channel, whose amount of

calculation is very huge. But the advantage is that mutual information is accurate and robust, because random

noisesareuncorrelatedwithsignalsofinterestingandthusthemutualinformationiszeroforsuchcase.

Wecanexplainitasameasureoftheamountofinformationonerandomvariablecontainsaboutanotherrandom

variable, thus it is the reduction in the uncertainty of one random variable due to the knowledge of the other.

Mutual information is not an invariant measure between random variables because it contains the marginal

entropies.NormalizedMutualInformationisabettermeasureofthepredictionthatonevariablecandoabout

theother

Applications to Simulated Signals

Inthesection,weappliedtheproposedmethodtoaseismicprofile,whichisgeneratedbythetimedelayedline

models (TDL). The wavelet used in TDL model is Ricker wavelet, with center frequency 10 Hz . The simulated

data without noise is illustrated in Fig. 1, and the noisy version of the simulated data is plotted in Fig. 2. As an

example,Fig.3illustratedtheresultsoftheproposedmethod.Fromthesimulations,wecanseethattheproposed

methodcanobtaintheprecisefirstarrivalsevenunderverylowSNR.

40

InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015 www.seipub.org/ie

Fromabovementionedfigureswecanknowthat,whenSNRisveryhigh,theproposedmethodscanpickupthe

firstarrivalverywell.WiththereductionofSNR,errorofratioofenergymethodchangeslarger,andalotofbad

points appearance. We cannot accurately pick up the first arrival. When SNR is 5dB , the method based on the

mutual information can calculate the mutual information from the first channel to the end channel. At the same

times, it only calculates a part of mutual information. For calculating the part of mutual information, amount of

calculation of mutual information are the same. To evaluate the performances of the proposed method under

differentSNRs,weappliedittothesimulateddatawithdifferentSNRs.TheresultsareillustratedinFig.4.From

suchfigure,wecanseethattheerrorsareverylow.

Conclusions

Firstarrivalspickupisaveryimportantissueinseismicdataprocessing.Inthepaper,weproposedanewmethod

withthehelpofthemutualinformation.Insuchmethod,thereisnoanyassumptionforthedata.Therefore,the

proposedmethodcanbeappliedtoanyseismicdata.Especially,thementionedmethodcanworkverywellunder

verylowSNRsenvironments,becausethemutualinformationbetweendataandnoiseiszero,andthusnoisescan

affectarrivalspickupaslessaspossible.

simulated seismic data without noise in seismic profile

0

0.5

1

1.5

time [s]

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

4.5

5

0

500

distance [m]

1000

1500

2000

FIGURE1.THESIMULATEDSEISMICPROFILEWITHTDLMODELWITHOUTNOISE

processed data with SNR= 0

0

0.5

1

1.5

time [s]

2

2.5

3

3.5

4

4.5

5

0

500

distance [m]

1000

1500

2000

FIGURE2.THESIMULATEDSEISMICPROFILEWITHNOISE

41

www.seipub.org/ie InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015

1

the time/s

2

3

2

3

5

-4000 -2000

0

2000 4000

the trace position

Results of different SNR

0

5

-4000 -2000

0

2000 4000

the trace position

Results of different SNR

0

1

the time/s

the time/s

the time/s

Theory value

0

2

3

4

2

3

4

5

-4000 -2000

0

2000

the trace position

4000

5

-4000 -2000

0

2000

the trace position

4000

FIGURE3.ANEXAMPLEOFFIRSTARRIVALPICKUPWITHTHEPROPOSEDMETHOD

first arrivals pickup errors with the proposed method

0.01

0.009

0.008

0.007

errors

0.006

0.005

0.004

0.003

0.002

0.001

0

10

15

snr[dB]

20

25

30

FIGURE4.ERRORSFORTHEFIRSTARRIVALPICKUPWITHTHEPROPOSEDMETHOD

REFERENCES

[1] S.Assous,P.Elkington,S.Clark,andJ.Whetton.Automateddetectionofplanargeologicfeaturesinborehole

images.GEOPHYSICS,79(1):D11D19,2014.

[2] T.Keho and W.Zhu.Revisiting automatic first arrival picking for large 3D land surveys, chapter 642, pages

31983202.2009.

[3] S.Li, Vladimirsky, A., and S.Fomel. Firstbreak traveltime tomography with the doublesquareroot eikonal

equation.GEOPHYSICS,78(6):U89U101,2013.

[4] J.Sabbione and Velis D. Automatic firstbreaks picking: New strategies and algorithms. GEOPHYSICS,

75(4):V67V76,2010.

[5] MingYue Zhai. Seismic data denoising based on the fractional fourier transformation. JOURNAL OF

42

InformationEngineering(IE)Volume4,2015 www.seipub.org/ie

APPLIEDGEOPHYSICS,109:6270,OCT2014.

[6] MingYue Zhai, Heidi Kuzma, and JamesW. Rector. A new fractalinterpolation algorithm for seismic data

basedoniteratedfunctionsystems.EPL,92(4),NOV2010.

[7] MingYue Zhai, Juan Luis FernandezMartinez, and JamesW. Rector. A new fractal interpolation algorithm

and its applications to selfaffine signal reconstruction. FRACTALSCOMPLEX GEOMETRY PATTERNS

ANDSCALINGINNATUREANDSOCIETY,19(3):355365,SEP2011.

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