Automated fault detection and extraction under gas chimneys using hybrid discontinuity attributes

Imran Q. S., Siddiqui N. A., Latiff A. H. A., Bashir Y., Khan M., Qureshi K., ...More

Applied Sciences (Switzerland), vol.11, no.16, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 16
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/app11167218
  • Journal Name: Applied Sciences (Switzerland)
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, INSPEC, Metadex, Directory of Open Access Journals, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Keywords: fault detection, automatic fault extraction, hybrid attributes, semblance, structure-oriented semblance, fault-oriented semblance, thinned fault likelihood, ant-tracking, discontinuity attributes, gas chimney
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.3D-seismic data have increasingly shifted seismic interpretation work from a horizons-based to a volume-based focus over the past decade. The size of the identification and mapping work has therefore become difficult and requires faster and better tools. Faults, for instance, are one of the most significant features of subsurface geology interpreted from seismic data. Detailed fault interpretation is very important in reservoir characterization and modeling. The conventional manual fault picking is a time-consuming and inefficient process. It becomes more challenging and error-prone when dealing with poor quality seismic data under gas chimneys. Several seismic attributes are available for faults and discontinuity detection and are applied with varying degrees of success. We present a hybrid workflow that combines a semblance-based fault likelihood attribute with a conventional ant-tracking attribute. This innovative workflow generates optimized discontinuity volumes for fault detection and automatic extraction. The data optimization and conditioning processes are applied to suppress random and coherent noise first, and then a combination of seismic attributes is generated and co-rendered to enhance the discontinuities. The result is the volume with razor sharp discontinuities which are tracked and extracted automatically. Contrary to several available fault tracking techniques that use local seismic continuity like coherency attributes, our hybrid method is based on directed semblance, which incorporates aspects of Dave Hale’s superior fault-oriented semblance algorithm. The methodology is applied on a complex faulted reservoir interval under gas chimneys in a Malaysian basin, yet the results were promising. Despite the poor data quality, the methodology led to detailed discontinuity information with several major and minor faults extracted automatically. This hybrid approach not only improved the fault tracking accuracy but also significantly reduced the fault interpretation time and associated uncertainty. It is equally helpful in detecting any seismic objects like fracture, chimneys, and stratigraphic features.