Project

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Full waveform seismic imaging of complex subsurface structures with application to resource exploration and development

English title Full waveform seismic imaging of complex subsurface structures with application to resource exploration and development
Applicant Greenhalgh Stewart
Number 140769
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Institut für Geophysik ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Geophysics
Start/End 01.07.2012 - 30.06.2015
Approved amount 210'516.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Discipline
Geophysics
Other disciplines of Physics

Keywords (7)

seismic; imaging; laboratory; modeling; waveform; inversion; anisotropy

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

This project seeks to develop new high definition seismic imaging techniques for visualising  subsurface structures by utilizing the full waveform information contained in the recorded seismograms. Such waveform inversion procedures should substantially improve knowledge about the Earth in the upper few kilometres. It will be innovative because it will take into account complexities such as anisotropy and poroelasticity of the rocks which are frequently ignored. The new numerical simulation and reconstruction procedures will offer considerable computational efficiency and accuracy over current techniques. The improved capacity to more realistically model and map geological structures remotely will have economic benfits for resource exploration and extraction, through better imaging of hydrocrabon reservoirs, coal seams and mineral deposits. 

A distingusihing feature of this project is to construct an ultrsonic laboratory scale model facility, which can be used to simulate  a variety of interesting structures. The data obtained from the model experimenst will be analysed and inverted to assess the resolution limits and reliability of the images. The scale model system will also be used to study various aspects of wave propagation, especially the waveguiding effects of low velocity layers such as gas reservoirs and coal seams. The goal is to exploit such characteristics and build low cost, novel acoustic imaging systems for fault delineation, which is critical in petroleum field development and coal mining.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Broadband cloaking and holography using exact boundary conditions
van Manen Dirk-Jan, Vasmel Marlies, Greenhalgh Stewart, Robertsson Johan (2015), Broadband cloaking and holography using exact boundary conditions, in Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137(6), EL415.
Seismic full waveform inversion for characterizing near-surface structures: a review of potential problems and possible solutions
Maurer Hansruedi, Nuber Andre, Manukyan Edgar, Greenhalgh Stewart (2015), Seismic full waveform inversion for characterizing near-surface structures: a review of potential problems and possible solutions, in 77th EAGE Conference and Exhibition, Workshop 10 "Full Waveform Inversion for Near Surface Character, Madrid.
The devleopment and testing of a 2D laboratory seismic modelling system for heterogeneous structure investigations
Mo Yike, Greenhalgh Stewart, Robertsson Johan, Karaman Hakki (2015), The devleopment and testing of a 2D laboratory seismic modelling system for heterogeneous structure investigations, in Journal of Applied Geophysics, 116, 224-235.
3-D simultaneous inversion for velocity and refelctor geometry using multi-phase Fresnel volume rays
Bai Chao-ying, Li Xiao-Ling, Huang Guo-Jiau, Greenhalgh Stewart (2014), 3-D simultaneous inversion for velocity and refelctor geometry using multi-phase Fresnel volume rays, in Pure and Applied Geophysics, 171, 1089-1105.
3-D simultaneous inversion for velocity and reflector geometry using multiple classes of arrivals in a spherical co-ordinate frame
Huang Guo-Jiau, Bai Chao-ying, Li Xiao-Ling, Greenhalgh Stewart (2014), 3-D simultaneous inversion for velocity and reflector geometry using multiple classes of arrivals in a spherical co-ordinate frame, in Journal of Seismology, 18(1), 123-135.
A model for determination of effective permeability from acoustic wavespeed and attenuation in a rigid two-phase porous medium
Greenhalgh Stewart, Liu Xu, Zhou Bing (2014), A model for determination of effective permeability from acoustic wavespeed and attenuation in a rigid two-phase porous medium, in Near Surface Geophysics, 12, 391-404.
Distorting effects of the near-surface layer on seismic imaging - physical model investigations
Mo Yike, Greenhalgh Stewart, Robertsson Johan, Karaman Hakki (2014), Distorting effects of the near-surface layer on seismic imaging - physical model investigations, in EAGE Near Surface 2014, Athens.
Reflection and transmission coefficients for an incident plane shear wave at an interface separating two dissimilar poroelastic solids
Liu Xu, Greenhalgh Stewart (2014), Reflection and transmission coefficients for an incident plane shear wave at an interface separating two dissimilar poroelastic solids, in Pure and Applied Geophysics, 171, 2111-2127.
A critical appraisal of asymptotic 3D-to-2D data transformation in seismic full waveform inversion
Auer Ludwig, Nuber Andre, Greenhalgh Stewart, Maurer Hansruedi, Marelli Stefano (2013), A critical appraisal of asymptotic 3D-to-2D data transformation in seismic full waveform inversion, in Geophysics, 78(6), R235-R247.
Evaluation of anelastic effects on seismic full waveform inversion
Vasmel Marlies, Maurer Hansruedi, Greenhalgh Stewart (2013), Evaluation of anelastic effects on seismic full waveform inversion, in 75th EAGE Conference, London.
Image appraisal of full waveform inverted GPR data
Meles Giovanni, Greenhalgh Stewart, Maurer Hansruedi, Green Alan (2013), Image appraisal of full waveform inverted GPR data, in PIERS 2013, Stockholm.
Ray tracing of multiple transmitted/reflected/converted waves in 2D/3D layered anisotropic TTI media and application to crosswell traveltime tomography
Bai Chao-ying, Huang Guo-Jiau, Li Xiao-Ling, Greenhalgh Stewart (2013), Ray tracing of multiple transmitted/reflected/converted waves in 2D/3D layered anisotropic TTI media and application to crosswell traveltime tomography, in Geophysical Journal International, 195, 1068-1087.
Some ideas yet unattempted in georadar full waveform inversion
Meles Giovanni, Greenhalgh Stewart, Maurer Hansruedi, Green Alan (2013), Some ideas yet unattempted in georadar full waveform inversion, in PIERS 2013, Stockholm.
GPR full waveform sensitivity and resolution analysis using an FDTD adjoint method
Meles Giovanni, Greenhalgh Stewart, Green Alan, Maurer Hansruedi, van der Kruk Jan (2012), GPR full waveform sensitivity and resolution analysis using an FDTD adjoint method, in IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing, 50(5), 1881-1896.
Velocity and attenuation dispersion relations for the effective Biot model: total field formulation
Greenhalgh Stewart, Liu Xu, Zhou Bing (2012), Velocity and attenuation dispersion relations for the effective Biot model: total field formulation, in Near Surface Geophysics, 10, 197-206.

Awards

Title Year
"Best of Near Surface" Award ffrom European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers for one of the four best papers presented at the Athens 2014 "Near Surface" conference. Invited to present at the SAGEEP meeting in USA the following year. Award covers registration fee 2014
Awarded one of the Best Papers in Ten years Award from UK Institute of Physics for my paper in their "Journal of Geophysics and Engineering" for a paper in 2006 on "Solutions, algorithms and inter-relations for local minimisation search geophysical inversion". Certificate only, not financial reward. Award in the arae of the SNF grant on geophysical inversion 2014
Ludger Mintrop Award of the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers for Best paper in the journal "Near Surface Geophysics" in 2012 2013

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
157684 A wave propagation laboratory for immersive experimentation 01.12.2014 R'EQUIP

Abstract

This project has as its primary goal the development of the next generation of seismic imaging capability for mapping the subsurface remotely. The application is mainly towards resource exploration and development where material anisotropy and poroelasticity are prevalent, but often overlooked in current seismic imaging strategies. The plan is to utilize the full waveform information contained in the seismograms so as to obtain high resolution images of complete elastic properties. For reasons of computational tractability the full waveform inversion algorithms to be devised will be 2.5D, which means the geological structure is assumed to be two dimensional but the wave propagation is three dimensional. The project will build on our considerable past experience and accomplishments in seismic exploration, which include contributions to modelling, inversion, imaging, instrumentation and field procedures. A distinguishing feature of this proposal is to construct a two-dimensional ultrasonic laboratory model facility, which can be used to simulate a variety of interesting and relevant geological structures. The data obtained from the model experiments will be analysed and inverted to assess the resolution limits and reliability of the new algorithms. The scale model system will also be used (along with numerical modelling) to investigate a variety of problems in seismic wave propagation, especially the waveguiding effects of low velocity layers such as gas reservoirs and coal seams. The goal is to exploit such characteristics and build low cost, novel imaging systems for fault delineation, which is critical in petroleum field development and coal mining. The new full waveform elastic anisotropic inversion code will also be applied to field data to be supplied by collaborators from industry, as well as to data we have collected ourselves in the recent past in connection with near surface investigations for engineering and environmental projects. Supporting theoretical and numerical model studies will be undertaken to help interpret the field data and to compare with the laboratory experiments.Given the challenge and scope of the project, it will be necessary to hire two PhD students and one postdoctoral fellow. One student will have primary responsibility, along with a technician and the postdoctoral researcher, for assembling the laboratory modelling system and electronics and performing the physical model experiments. The other student, along with the postdoc, will concentrate on developing the full waveform anisotropic inversion scheme and testing it against the laboratory models and other simplified algorithms. The two students, together with the postdoctoral fellow, will perform the field data inversions. The project has the potential to revolutionize the way the subsurface can be visualized with sound and the resulting images interpreted in a more meaningful manner.
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