Time–frequency analysis technology is widely used in non-stationary seismic data analysis. The energy concentration of the spectrum depends on the consistency of the kernel function of the time–frequency analysis method and the instantaneous frequency variation of the signals. The conventional time–frequency analysis methods usually require that the local instantaneous frequency of the signals remains unchanged or linearly changed. So it is difcult to accurately characterize the instantaneous frequency nonlinear variation of the non-stationary signal. The local polynomial Fourier transform (LPFT) method can efectively describe the instantaneous frequency variation by local high-order polynomial ftting and obtain the results with high spectral and energy concentration. The numerical simulations and feld seismic data applications show that the time–frequency spectrum results obtained by LPFT can refect the instantaneous frequency variation characteristics of the seismic data, while ensuring the concentration of time–frequency energy.