Microseismic imaging of hydrofractures with the aid of conical waves

David C. Ilderton, Tadeusz W. Patzek, James W. Rector, Harold J. Vinegar

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Optimal production of oil from the South Belridge oil field depend on the accurate characterization of hydraulic fractures. This paper presents an extension of the passive imaging work done by Vinegar et al., (1991). A hydrofracture induced in the South Belridge reservoir was imaged using seismic data acquired from three dedicated observation wells. These wells recorded microseismic events produced during the hydrofracturing process. We had to invert for the event locations using only shear wave arrivals because no compressional wave arrivals were detected. Our initial inversion assuming a homogeneous velocity model yielded unsatisfactory results. The microseismic event locations failed to reveal a clearly defined fracture plane. However, the excitation of tube waves in the treatment well by nearby microseismic events led to the detection of conical waves by the geophones. These conical wave arrivals provided a means by which to estimate a relative' 'velocity field. Choosing a reference velocity and a reference direction toward one observation well, we were able to calculate relative velocities toward the other observations wells and establish a heterogeneous velocity model. Inverting for the locations of the microseismic events with this new model resulted in a much more defined fracture plane. We now hope to develop a time variable heterogeneous velocity model since the conical wave arrivals occur fairly regularly throughout our data.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes
Event1993 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Annual Meeting - Washington, United States
Duration: 26 Sep 199330 Sep 1993


Conference1993 Society of Exploration Geophysicists Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics


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