Marine substrate response from the analysis of seismic attributes in CHIRP sub-bottom profiles

<div><p>Abstract This paper presents an evaluation of the response of seismic reflection attributes in different types of marine substrate (rock, shallow gas, sediments) using seafloor samples for ground-truth statistical comparisons. The data analyzed include seismic reflection profiles collected using two CHIRP subbottom profilers (Edgetech Model 3100 SB-216S), with frequency ranging between 2 and 16 kHz, and a number (38) of sediment samples collected from the seafloor. The statistical method used to discriminate between different substratum responses was the non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis analysis, carried out in two steps: 1) comparison of Seismic Attributes between different marine substrates (unconsolidated sediments, rock and shallow gas); 2) comparison of Seismic Attributes between different sediment classes in seafloors characterized by unconsolidated sediments (subdivided according to sorting). These analyses suggest that amplitude-related attributes were effective in discriminating between sediment and gassy/rocky substratum, but did not differentiate between rocks and shallow gas. On the other hand, the Instantaneous Frequency attribute was effective in differentiating sediments, rocks and shallow gas, with sediment showing higher frequency range, rock an intermediate range, and shallow gas the lowest response. Regarding grain-size classes and sorting, statistical analysis discriminated between two distinct groups of samples, the SVFS (silt and very fine sand) and the SFMC (fine, medium and coarse sand) groups. Using a Spearman coefficient, it was found that the Instantaneous Amplitude was more efficient in distinguishing between the two groups. None of the attributes was able to distinguish between the closest grain size classes such as those of silt and very fine sand.</p></div>