Exploration Geophysics Exploration Geophysics Society
Journal of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Subsurface attenuation estimation using a novel hybrid method based on FWE function and power spectrum

Jingnan Li 1 2 Shangxu Wang 2 Dengfeng Yang 3 Genyang Tang 2 5 Yangkang Chen 4
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 Sinopec Geophysical Research Institute, 219 Shanggao Road, Jiangning, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211103, China.

2 China University of Petroleum – Beijing, 18 Fuxue Road, Changping, Beijing 102249, China.

3 The Research Institute of CNOOC (China) Ltd Shenzhen, Guangzhou 510240, China.

4 The Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78713-8924, USA.

5 Corresponding author. Email: tanggenyang@163.com

Exploration Geophysics - https://doi.org/10.1071/EG16022
Submitted: 24 February 2016  Accepted: 24 January 2017   Published online: 27 February 2017

Abstract

Seismic waves propagating in the subsurface suffer from attenuation, which can be represented by the quality factor Q. Knowledge of Q plays a vital role in hydrocarbon exploration. Many methods to measure Q have been proposed, among which the central frequency shift (CFS) and the peak frequency shift (PFS) are commonly used. However, both methods are under the assumption of a particular shape for amplitude spectra, which will cause systematic error in Q estimation. Recently a new method to estimate Q has been proposed to overcome this disadvantage by using frequency weighted exponential (FWE) function to fit amplitude spectra of different shapes. In the FWE method, a key procedure is to calculate the central frequency and variance of the amplitude spectrum. However, the amplitude spectrum is susceptible to noise, whereas the power spectrum is less sensitive to random noise and has better anti-noise performance. To enhance the robustness of the FWE method, we propose a novel hybrid method by combining the advantage of the FWE method and the power spectrum, which is called the improved FWE method (IFWE). The basic idea is to consider the attenuation of the power spectrum instead of the amplitude spectrum and to use a modified FWE function to fit power spectra, according to which we derive a new Q estimation formula. Tests of noisy synthetic data show that the IFWE are more robust than the FWE. Moreover, the frequency bandwidth selection in the IFWE can be more flexible than that in the FWE. The application to field vertical seismic profile data and surface seismic data further demonstrates its validity.

Key words: attenuation, FWE function, power spectrum, Q factor.


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