Seismic color blending

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(f) polygonal faulting due to compaction of early Cretaceous sediments in the postrift phase imaged within the Indian 3D data set using frequency decomposition RGB blend and (g) dip-tensor-SOS CMY blend; (h) dip-tensor-SOS CMY blend at HCA2000A inline 602, giving a broad structural overview of the basin particularly the Jurassic- Cretaceous rifting.[1]

Seismic color blending is a computational technique that uses seismic attributes to allow the interpreter to see a more complete and accurate geologic section[2]. This technique attempts to display two or more attributes simultaneously along the seismic section. Color blending is a powerful tool in reservoir characterization


Coblending allows you to combine two types of attributes concurrently. One type of coblending is using a physical attribute and geometric attribute using different color scales.

Red, Green, Blue Color Model

One way to show the blended display is to use red-green-blue, RGB, alpha blending technique. Alpha blending consists of assigning an RGB value to each voxel in the data set. The RGB color model is used because the end-members will produce a uniquely colored voxel if the attributes add constructively or destructively[3].

(a) RGB color model (red, green, and blue, commonly used for visual displays, such as computer monitors and TV screens). (b) RGB model and CMYK model (cyan, magenta, yellow, and black, used in printing), mapped here to the human visual system defined by the Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage (CIE) standard (the area between the RGB triangle and the perimeter of the CIE color model). Bot all colors perceivable by humans can be created using positive amounts of red, green, and blue. In addition, many colors displayed on a monitor cannot be generated with printing inks using the CMYK model [the area between the CMYK polygon and the RGB triangle in (b)]. Modified from[3]

Cyan, Magenta, Yellow Color Model

Cyan-magenta-yellow, CMY, color blending is another technique used in multi-attributes displays. CMY color model is also known as CMYK because the combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow produce the color black which contributes the K to the model. This color model occupies a smaller spectrum than the RGB model[3]. Since this color model is used in printers, the quality of the color displayed in paper copies can be affected. Image h illustrates how to use the CMY model to image a seismic cross section. [1]

Hue, Lightness, Saturation Color Model

Hue-lightness-saturation, HLS, color blending is another color blending technique. HLS uses a mixture of blue, magenta, red, yellow, green, and cyan to illustrate various characteristics of attributes. Figure 2 is a representation of the color model. The HLS model allows the interpreter to use easily definable contrasts e.g. pure vs pastel colors or bright vs dark spots.

(a) The HLS (hue-lightness-saturation) color model mapped to spherical coordinates. Here we link the hue, 0° < H < 360°, to azimuth; the lightness, 0.0 < L < 1.0 to the vertical axis; and saturation 0.0 < S < 1.0, to radius. [3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 (2018). SEG Digital Library (Society of Exploration Geophysicists). [online] Available at: [Accessed 22 Jul. 2018].
  2. “”Delineation of Geological Elements from RGB Color Blending of Seismic Attribute Volumes.”.” Interpretation of Gamma-Ray Spectrometric Data from Central Region of Borborema Province, Northeast of Brazil - 10th International Congress of the Brazilian Geophysical Society & EXPOGEF 2007, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, 19-23 November 2007 (Society of Exploration Geophysicists),
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Chopra, Satinder, and Kurt J. Marfurt. Seismic Attributes for Prospect Identification and Reservoir Characterization. Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 2010.

External Links

Jianhua Cao, et al (2015), Subsurface Channel Detection Using Color Blending of Seismic Attribute Volumes LI Yan-fang, et al (2009), Seismic multi-attribute analysis based on RGB color blending technology N.J. McArdle and M.A. Ackers (2012), Understanding seismic thin-bed responses using frequency decomposition and RGB blending Augustine Ifeanyi Chinwuko, et al (2015), Coblending of seismic attributes for interpretation of channel geometries in Rence Field of Niger Delta, Nigeria