Curvature Attributes

These attributes measure the degree of curvature of a surface or in a volume and help to improve interpretation and structural understanding of 3D seismic data volumes. Different curvature attributes identify subtle faults and other features.

  • Mean Curvature is defined as the average of the minimum and maximum curvature and is usually dominated by the maximum curvature. This volume may not convey a lot of additional visual information, but is useful as other attributes are derived from it.
  • Dip Curvature is the curvature extracted along the direction of dip and measures the rate of change of dip in the maximum dip direction. This volume shows the throw as well as the direction of faults clearly.
  • Strike Curvature is the curvature extracted along a direction perpendicular to the dip curvature, i.e. along strike. Many times strike curvature indicates patterns connecting highs with lows.
  • Shape Index is derived from the minimum and maximum curvature and indicates the local shape of the surface. This volume can show the lineations and is scale-independent.
  • Most-Positive and Most Negative Curvature is derived by searching the normal curvatures for the most positive and most negative values. These attributes display a lot more sharp and fine detail that helps in small fault interpretation. In terms of fracture analysis, open fractures are perpendicular to azimuth of maximum curvature.