How to use cepstrum analysis for reservoir characterization and hydrocarbon detection is an initial question of great interest to exploration seismologists. In this paper, wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition is proposed as a valid technology for enhancing geophysical responses in specific frequency bands, in the same way as traditional spectrum decomposition methods do. The calculation of wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition, which decomposes the original seismic volume into a series of common quefrency volumes, employs a sliding window to move over each seismic trace sample by sample. The key factor in wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition is the selection of the sliding-window length as it limits the frequency ranges of the common quefrency section. Comparison of the wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition with traditional spectrum decomposition methods, such as short-time Fourier transform and wavelet transform, is conducted to demonstrate the effectiveness of the wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition and the relation between these two technologies. In hydrocarbon detection, seismic amplitude anomalies are detected using wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition by utilizing the first and second common quefrency sections. This reduces the burden of needing dozens of seismic volumes to represent the response to different mono-frequency sections in the interpretation of spectrum decomposition in conventional spectrum decomposition methods. The model test and the application of real data acquired from the Sulige gas field in the Ordos Basin, China, confirm the effectiveness of the seismic amplitude anomaly section using wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition for discerning the strong amplitude anomalies at a particular quefrency buried in the broadband seismic response. Wavelet-based cepstrum decomposition provides a new method for measuring the instantaneous cepstrum properties of a reservoir and offers a new field of processing and interpretation of seismic reflection data.