Dictionary:Complex-trace analysis

From SEG Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
This page contains changes which are not marked for translation.

Other languages:
English • ‎español

Finding the complex number representation of a real time-series :


where is the quadrature series, is the amplitude of the envelope of the trace (also called reflection strength), and is the instantaneous phase. Displays of instantaneous phase (or cosine of the instantaneous phase) show the continuity of an event. Instantaneous frequency is . Instantaneous frequency can be thought of as the frequency of the complex sinusoid that locally best fits a complex trace. Used to determine seismic attributes. In the space domain, "local" is sometimes used instead of "instantaneous". See Figure C-11 y Taner et al. (1979). Complex-trace analysis often involves the Hilbert transform.

Mathematical foundations of complex trace analysis

The notion of a complex or analytic trace begins with the more general result that any function , where must obey the relation that (which follows from the Cauchy integral formula) that[1] or Levinson and Redheffer (1970). [2]

where is an operation known as the Hilbert transform., in any region where is "analytic".("Analytic" means that exists.)

Instantaneous amplitude

We may write (using Euler's relation)

where the modulus is


Instantaneous phase

The phase, then is the arc tangent of the ration of the imaginary and real parts


Hence, the real part of is

and the imaginary part is


The Complex (or Analytic) trace

Let us now consider a function , where is monotonically increasing. The function describes a curve in the volume. This curve is single valued in in this volume, yielding the following parameterization


Because is single valued in in the volume we can write, without loss of generality

which describes a helix about the axis, defined by in the volume.

Now, we assert that our recorded data is the real part of this complex trace , hence:

and the imaginary part, or the so-called "quadrature trace" is


The modulus is the "instantaneous amplitude, also known as the "envelope function" of . The function is known as the "instantaneous phase" of .

Instantaneous frequency

An "instantaneous frequency" may be defined as the time rate of change of the instantaneous phase



Computationally, the instantaneous phase calculated in this fashion may be wrapped, which is to say it may have jumps of up to , owing to the fact that the numerical computation of the arctangent function in computers is restricted to the principle branch, .

It is preferable to differentiate the arctangent function, itself, to avoid phase wrapping issues

where we recognize that the denominator is the instantaneous amplitude squared.

This formulation of complex trace analysis, introduced into the geophysical community by Taner, Koehler, and Sheriff (1979) [3], has found wide application in seismic processing for interpretation.

Since 1979, a collection of so-called seismic trace attributes have been created.


  1. Spiegel, Murray R. "Theory and problems of complex variables, with an introduction to Conformal Mapping and its applications." Schaum's outline series (1964).
  2. Levinson, Norman, and Raymond M. Redheffer. "Complex variables." (1970), Holden-Day, New York.
  3. M. T. Taner, F. Koehler, and R. E. Sheriff (1979). ”Complex seismic trace analysis.” GEOPHYSICS, 44(6), 1041-1063. doi: 10.1190/1.1440994

External links

find literature about
Complex-trace analysis
SEG button search.png Datapages button.png GeoScienceWorld button.png OnePetro button.png Schlumberger button.png Google button.png AGI button.png