Studying Hydraulic Fracturing through Time-variant Seismic Anisotropy
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Hydraulic fracturing is an important modern technique of exploiting natural gas and oil, in which a high-pressure liquid mixture is injected into a wellbore to create small fractures in order to release fluids such as natural gas and petroleum. Studying seismic anisotropy by shear wave splitting can help us better understand the relationship between hydraulic fracturing and fracture systems. Shear wave splitting can be caused by fracturing and also can naturally take place in most sedimentary rocks. It will separate the incident shear-wave produced from microseismic event into two orthogonally polarized fast and slow shear waves. Conversely, measurements can be used to infer information related to the fracturing. The microseismic data this article is based on have three components in orthogonal directions and also have a long time span over one month. The data are very ideal for studying time-variant shear-wave splitting in the subsurface. We will build a time-dependent history of splitting in the site we study and compare it with the time and location information of the recorded hydraulic fracturing events. Finally, we will attempt to find a cause and effect relation between the hydraulic fracturing and the subsurface fracture changes as well as other possible relations.
Liu, Qifan (2014). Studying Hydraulic Fracturing through Time-variant Seismic Anisotropy. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from