Joint Inversion of Source Location and Source Mechanism of Induced Microseismics

Friday, 19 December 2014
Chuntao Liang, Chengdu University of Technology, Geophysics, Chengdu, China
Seismic source mechanism is a useful property to indicate the source physics and stress and strain distribution in regional, local and micro scales. In this study we jointly invert source mechanisms and locations for microseismics induced in fluid fracturing treatment in the oil and gas industry.

For the events that are big enough to see waveforms, there are quite a few techniques can be applied to invert the source mechanism including waveform inversion, first polarity inversion and many other methods and variants based on these methods. However, for events that are too small to identify in seismic traces such as the microseismics induced by the fluid fracturing in the Oil and Gas industry, a source scanning algorithms (SSA for short) with waveform stacking are usually applied. At the same time, a joint inversion of location and source mechanism are possible but at a cost of high computation budget. The algorithm is thereby called Source Location and Mechanism Scanning Algorithm, SLMSA for short. In this case, for given velocity structure, all possible combinations of source locations (X,Y and Z) and source mechanism (Strike, Dip and Rake) are used to compute travel-times and polarities of waveforms. Correcting Normal moveout times and polarities, and stacking all waveforms, the (X, Y, Z , strike, dip, rake) combination that gives the strongest stacking waveform is identified as the solution. To solve the problem of high computation problem, CPU-GPU programing is applied. Numerical datasets are used to test the algorithm. The SLMSA has also been applied to a fluid fracturing datasets and reveal several advantages against the location only method: (1) for shear sources, the source only program can hardly locate them because of the canceling out of positive and negative polarized traces, but the SLMSA method can successfully pick up those events; (2) microseismic locations alone may not be enough to indicate the directionality of micro-fractures. The statistics of source mechanisms can certainly provide more knowledges on the orientation of fractures; (3) in our practice, the joint inversion method almost always yield more events than the source only method and for those events that are also picked by the SSA method, the stacking power of SLMSA are always higher than the ones obtained in SSA.