This paper proposes an improved frequency shift method to estimate the quality factor Q for hydrocarbon detection. As a powerfully diagnostic tool for structural interpretation, reservoir characterization and hydrocarbon detection, quality factor Q provides useful information in seismic processing and interpretation. The popular methods, like spectral ratio (SR) method, central frequency shift (CFS) method, peak frequency shift (PFS) method, have their respective limitations in field seismic data application. In this paper, we derive an approximate equation and propose an improved central frequency shift (ICFS) method by combining the quality factor Q, the travel time, dominant and central frequencies of two successive seismic signals, along the wave propagating direction. Tests on synthetic data and statistical experiments show the proposed method can achieve higher accuracy and robustness compared with existing methods. Application of field data also shows its potential and effectiveness to estimate seismic attenuation.


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