Virtual Seismometer and Adjoint Methods for Induced Seismicity Monitoring

Friday, 19 December 2014
Christina Morency and Eric Matzel, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA, United States
Induced seismicity is associated with subsurface fluid injection, and puts at risk efforts to develop geologic carbon sequestration and enhanced geothermal systems. We are developing methods to monitor the microseismically active zone so that we can identify faults at risk of slipping.

We are using the Virtual Seismometer Method (VSM), which is an interferometric technique that is very sensitive to the source parameters (location, mechanism and magnitude) and to the earth structure in the source region. Given an ideal geometry, that is, when two quakes are roughly in line with a recording station, the correlation of their waveforms provide a precise estimate of the Green's function between them, modified by their source mechanisms. When measuring microseismicity, this geometry is rarely ideal and we need to account for variations in the geometry as well. In addition, we also investigate the adjoint method to calculate sensitivity kernels, which define the sensitivity of an observable to model parameters. Classically, adjoint tomography relies on the interaction between a forward waveform, from the source to the recording station, and a backpropagated waveform, from the recorded station to the source. By combining the two approaches we can focus on properties directly between induced micro events, and doing so, monitor the evolution of the seismicity and precisely image potential fault zones.

This work was performed under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under Contract DE-AC52-07NA27344.