Active and passive seismic imaging of a hydraulic fracture in diatomite

H. J. Vinegar, P. B. Wills, D. C. DeMartini, J. Shlyapobersky, W. F.J. Deeg, R. G. Adair, J. C. Woerpel, J. E. Fix, G. G. Sorrells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


A comprehensive set of experiments including remote- and treatment-well microseismic monitoring, interwell shear-wave shadowing, and surface tiltmeter arrays, was used to monitor the growth of a hydraulic fracture in the Belridge diatomite. To obtain accurate measurements, an extensive subsurface network of geophones was cemented spanning the diatomite formation in three closely spaced observation wells around the well to be fracture treated. Data analysis indicates that the minifracture and main hydraulic fracture stimulations resulted in a nearly vertical fracture zone (striking N26°E) vertically segregated into two separate elements, the uppermost of which grew 60 ft above the perforated interval. The interwell seismic effects are consistent with a wide process zone of reduced shear velocity, which remote-well microseismic data independently suggest may be as wide as 40 ft. The experiments indicate complicated processes occurring during hydraulic fracturing that have significant implications for stimulation, waterflooding, infill drilling, and EOR. These processes are neither well understood nor included in current hydraulic fracture models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-90
Number of pages63
JournalJPT, Journal of Petroleum Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Industrial relations
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Strategy and Management


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