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

Seismic signal denoising using thresholded variational mode decomposition

Fangyu Li 1 Bo Zhang 2 4 Sumit Verma 3 Kurt J. Marfurt 1
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

1 ConocoPhilips School of Geology and Geophysics, The University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA.

2 Department of Geological Sciences, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487, USA.

3 Department of Physical Sciences, The University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Odessa, TX 79762, USA.

4 Corresponding author. Email: bzhang33@ua.edu

Exploration Geophysics - https://doi.org/10.1071/EG17004
Submitted: 8 January 2017  Accepted: 12 June 2017   Published online: 11 August 2017

Abstract

Noise reduction is important for signal analysis. In this paper, we propose a hybrid denoising method based on thresholding and data-driven signal decomposition. The principle of this method is to reconstruct the signal with previously thresholded intrinsic mode functions (IMFs). Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) based methods decompose a signal into a sum of oscillatory components, while variational mode decomposition (VMD) generates an ensemble of modes with their respective centre frequencies, which enables VMD to further decrease redundant modes and keep less residual noise in the modes. To illustrate its superiority, we compare VMD with EMD as well as its derivations, such as ensemble EMD (EEMD), complete EEMD (CEEMD), improved CEEMD (ICEEMD) using synthetic signals and field seismic traces. Compared with EMD and its derivations, VMD has a solid mathematical foundation and is less sensitive to noise, while both make it more suitable for non-stationary seismic signal decomposition. The determination of mode number is key for successful denoising. We develop an empirical equation, which is based on the detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA), to adaptively determine the number of IMFs for signal reconstruction. Then, a scaling exponent obtained by DFA is used as a threshold to distinguish random noise and signal between IMFs and the reconstruction residual. The proposed thresholded VMD denoising method shows excellent performance on both synthetic and field data applications.

Key words: adaptive filtering, detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA), empirical mode decomposition (EMD), seismic signal denoising, variational mode decomposition (VMD).


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