Several areas of Earth that are rich in oil and natural gas also have huge deposits of salt below the surface. Because of this connection, knowing precise locations of large salt deposits is extremely important to companies involved in oil and gas exploration. To locate salt bodies, professional seismic imaging is needed. These images are analyzed by human experts which leads to very subjective and highly variable renderings. To motivate automation and increase the accuracy of this process, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) has sponsored a Kaggle competition that was held in the second half of 2018. The competition was very popular, gathering 3221 individuals and teams. Data for the competition included a training set of 4000 seismic image patches and corresponding segmentation masks. The test set contained 18,000 seismic image patches used for evaluation (all images are 101 x 101 pixels). Depth information of the sample location was also provided for every seismic image patch. The method presented in this paper is based on the author’s participation and it relies on training a deep convolutional neural network (CNN) for semantic segmentation. The architecture of the proposed network is inspired by the U-Net model in combination with ResNet and DenseNet architectures. To better comprehend the properties of the proposed architecture, a series of experiments were conducted applying standardized approaches using the same training framework. The results showed that the proposed architecture is comparable and, in most cases, better than these segmentation models.
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