Title page for ETD etd-10272009-165453

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Gilliland, Ellen Seccombe
URN etd-10272009-165453
Title An Assessment of Hypocenter Errors Associated with the Seismic Monitoring of Induced Hydro-fracturing in Hydrocarbon Reservoirs
Degree Master of Science
Department Geosciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Hole, John A. Committee Chair
Chapman, Martin C. Committee Member
Weiss, Chester J. Committee Member
  • hydro-fracture treatment
  • hypocenter location error
  • hypocenter inversion algorithm
  • multi-well survey
  • velocity structure
  • arrival-time picking error
  • geometric constraint
Date of Defense 2009-10-14
Availability restricted
Expanding the standard, single-well recording geometry used to monitor seismicity during hydro-fracture treatments could provide more accurate hypocenter locations and seismic velocities, improving general reservoir characterization. However, for the real, two-well data set obtained for this project, only S-wave picks were available, and testing resulted in anomalous hypocenter location behavior. This study uses a hypocenter location algorithm and both real and synthetic data sets to investigate how the accuracy of the velocity model, starting hypocenter location, recording geometry, and arrival-time picking error affect final hypocenter locations.

Hypocenter locations improved using a velocity model that closely matched the observed sonic log rather than a smoothed version of this model. The starting hypocenter location did not affect the final location solution if both starting and final locations were between the wells. Two solutions were possible when the true solution was not directly between the wells. Adding realistic random picking errors to synthetic data closely modeled the dispersed hypocenter error pattern observed in the real data results. Adding data from a third well to synthetic tests dramatically reduced location error and removed horizontal geometric bias observed in the two-well case.

Seismic event data recorded during hydro-fracture treatments could potentially be used for three-dimensional joint hypocenter-velocity tomography. This would require observation wells close enough to earthquakes to record P- and S-wave arrivals or wells at orientations sufficient to properly triangulate hypocenter locations. Simulating results with synthetic tests before drilling could optimize survey design to collect data more effectively and make analysis more useful.

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