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AAPG Bulletin


AAPG Bulletin, V. 92, No. 6 (June 2008), P. 733-742.

Copyright copy2008. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.


Channel detection in 3-D seismic data using sweetness

Bruce S. Hart1

1Earth and Planetary Sciences Department, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec H3A 2A7, Canada; [email protected]


Sweetness is a seismic attribute that, especially when used in conjunction with coherency, can be very useful for channel detection in deep-water clastic and coastal-plain settings. Although the attribute is not new, previous documentation of its utility and derivation has been mostly lacking. In this article, I present images of channels from three-dimensional seismic volumes that were derived using sweetness, and discuss the physical basis of the attribute. Furthermore, the modeling presented here suggests that sweetness could be used in a semiquantitative way to predict net-to-gross ratio in channel systems. Sweetness is derived by dividing reflection strength by the square root of instantaneous frequency. This mathematical definition captures attribute relationships that seismic interpreters have been using qualitatively for many years: isolated sand bodies in shale successions tend to generate stronger, broader reflections than the surrounding shale. Sweetness becomes less useful for channel detection when acoustic impedance contrasts between sands and shales are low or when sands and shales are highly interbedded.

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