Volume 36 Number 2
  • E-ISSN: 1365-2478



Methods of minimum entropy deconvolution (MED) try to take advantage of the non‐Gaussian distribution of primary reflectivities in the design of deconvolution operators. Of these, Wiggins’(1978) original method performs as well as any in practice. However, we present examples to show that it does not provide a reliable means of deconvolving seismic data: its operators are not stable and, instead of whitening the data, they often band‐pass filter it severely. The method could be more appropriately called maximum kurtosis deconvolution since the varimax norm it employs is really an estimate of kurtosis. Its poor performance is explained in terms of the relation between the kurtosis of a noisy band‐limited seismic trace and the kurtosis of the underlying reflectivity sequence, and between the estimation errors in a maximum kurtosis operator and the data and design parameters.

The scheme put forward by Fourmann in 1984, whereby the data are corrected by the phase rotation that maximizes their kurtosis, is a more practical method. This preserves the main attraction of MED, its potential for phase control, and leaves trace whitening and noise control to proven conventional methods. The correction can be determined without actually applying a whole series of phase shifts to the data. The application of the method is illustrated by means of practical and synthetic examples, and summarized by rules derived from theory. In particular, the signal‐dominated bandwidth must exceed a threshold for the method to work at all and estimation of the phase correction requires a considerable amount of data.

Kurtosis can estimate phase better than other norms that are misleadingly declared to be more efficient by theory based on full‐band, noise‐free data.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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