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Title: Integrated Geomechanics and Geophysics in Induced Seismicity: Mechanisms and Monitoring.


Abstract not provided.

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Proposed for presentation at the Geoscience External Advisory Board meeting held October 3-4, 2016 in Albuquerque, NM.
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Yoon, Hongkyu. Integrated Geomechanics and Geophysics in Induced Seismicity: Mechanisms and Monitoring.. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Yoon, Hongkyu. Integrated Geomechanics and Geophysics in Induced Seismicity: Mechanisms and Monitoring.. United States.
Yoon, Hongkyu. 2016. "Integrated Geomechanics and Geophysics in Induced Seismicity: Mechanisms and Monitoring.". United States. doi:.
title = {Integrated Geomechanics and Geophysics in Induced Seismicity: Mechanisms and Monitoring.},
author = {Yoon, Hongkyu},
abstractNote = {Abstract not provided.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9

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  • Abstract not provided.
  • In this paper, we present progress made in a study aimed atincreasing the understanding of the relative contributions of differentmechanisms that may be causing the seismicity occurring at The Geysersgeothermal field, California. The approach we take is to integrate: (1)coupled reservoir geomechanical numerical modeling, (2) data fromrecently upgraded and expanded NCPA/Calpine/LBNL seismic arrays, and (3)tens of years of archival InSAR data from monthly satellite passes. Wehave conducted a coupled reservoir geomechanical analysis to studypotential mechanisms induced by steam production. Our simulation resultscorroborate co-locations of hypocenter field observations of inducedseismicity and their correlation with steam production as reported in theliterature. Seismicmore » and InSAR data are being collected and processed foruse in constraining the coupled reservoir geomechanicalmodel.« less
  • The production of geothermal energy from dry and low permeability reservoirs is achieved by water circulation in natural and/or man-made fractures, and is referred to as enhanced or engineered geothermal systems (EGS). Often, the permeable zones have to be created by stimulation, a process which involves fracture initiation and/or activation of discontinuities such as faults and joints due to pore pressure and the in-situ stress perturbations. The stimulation of a rock mass is often accompanied by multiple microseismic events. Micro-seismic events associated with rock failure in shear, and shear slip on new or pre-existing fracture planes and possibly their propagations.more » The microseismic signals contain information about the sources of energy that can be used for understanding the hydraulic fracturing process and the created reservoir properties. Detection and interpretation of microseismic events is useful for estimating the stimulated zone, created reservoir permeability and fracture growth, and geometry of the geological structures and the in-situ stress state. The process commonly is referred to as seismicity-based reservoir characterization (SBRC). Although, progress has been made by scientific & geothermal communities for quantitative and qualitative analysis of reservoir stimulation using SBRC several key questions remain unresolved in the analysis of micro-seismicity namely, variation of seismic activity with injection rate, delayed micro-seismicity, and the relation of stimulated zone to the injected volume and its rate, and the resulting reservoir permeability. In addition, the current approach to SBRC does not consider the full range of relevant poroelastic and thermoelastic phenomena and neglects the uncertainty in rock properties and in-situ stress in the data inversion process. The objective of this research and technology developments was to develop a 3D SBRC model that addresses these shortcomings by taking into account hydro-thermo-poro-mechanical mechanisms associated with injection and utilizing a state-of-the-art stochastic inversion procedure. The approach proposed herein is innovative and significantly improves the existing SBCR technology (e.g., Shapiro et al. 2003) for geothermal reservoirs in several ways. First, the current scope of the SBRC is limited with respect to the physical processes considered and the rock properties used. Usually, the geomechanics analyses within SBRC is limited to the pore pressure diffusion in the rock mass, which is modeled using a time-dependent parabolic equation and solved using a finite element algorithm with either a line or a point source. However, water injection induces both poroelastic and thermoelastic stresses in the rock mass which affect the stress state. In fact, it has been suggested that thermoelastic stresses can play a dominant role in reservoir seismicity (Ghassemi et al., 2007). We include these important effects by using a fully-coupled poro-thermoelastic constitutive equations for the rock mass which will be solved using a 3D finite element model with more realistic injection geometries such as multiple injection/extraction sources (and in fractures), uncertainty in the material parameters and the in-situ stress distribution to better reflect the pore pressure and stress distributions. In addition, we developed a 3D stochastic fracture network model to study MEQ generation in fracture rocks. The model was verified using laboratory experiments, and calibrated and applied to Newberry EGS stimulation. In previous SBRC approaches, the triggering of micro-seismicity is modeled base on the assumption that the prior stochastic criticality model of the rock mass is a valid and adequate description. However, this assumption often does not hold in the field. Thus, we improved upon the current SBRC approach by using the micro-seismic responses to estimate the hydraulic diffusivity as well as the criticality distribution itself within the field. In this way, instead of relying on our a priori knowledge of criticality distribution, we combine an initial probabilistic description of criticality with the information contained in microseismic measurements to arrive at criticality solutions that are conditioned on both field data and our prior knowledge. Previous SBRC have relied upon a deterministic inversion approach to estimate the permeability, and the extent of the stimulated zone, whereas a stochastic inversion algorithm that recognizes and quantifies the uncertainties in the prior model, the time evolution of pore pressure distributions (modeling errors), and the observed seismic events is developed and used herein to realistically assess the quality of the solution. Finally, we developed a technique for processing discrete MEQ data to estimate fracture network properties such as dip and dip directions. The approach was successfully applied to the Fenton Hill HRD experiment and the Newberry EGS with results in good agreement with field observations.« less
  • We investigate fracture propagation induced by hydraulic fracturing with water injection, using numerical simulation. For rigorous, full 3D modeling, we employ a numerical method that can model failure resulting from tensile and shear stresses, dynamic nonlinear permeability, leak-off in all directions, and thermo-poro-mechanical effects with the double porosity approach. Our numerical results indicate that fracture propagation is not the same as propagation of the water front, because fracturing is governed by geomechanics, whereas water saturation is determined by fluid flow. At early times, the water saturation front is almost identical to the fracture tip, suggesting that the fracture is mostlymore » filled with injected water. However, at late times, advance of the water front is retarded compared to fracture propagation, yielding a significant gap between the water front and the fracture top, which is filled with reservoir gas. We also find considerable leak-off of water to the reservoir. The inconsistency between the fracture volume and the volume of injected water cannot properly calculate the fracture length, when it is estimated based on the simple assumption that the fracture is fully saturated with injected water. As an example of flow-geomechanical responses, we identify pressure fluctuation under constant water injection, because hydraulic fracturing is itself a set of many failure processes, in which pressure consistently drops when failure occurs, but fluctuation decreases as the fracture length grows. We also study application of electromagnetic (EM) geophysical methods, because these methods are highly sensitive to changes in porosity and pore-fluid properties due to water injection into gas reservoirs. Employing a 3D finite-element EM geophysical simulator, we evaluate the sensitivity of the crosswell EM method for monitoring fluid movements in shaly reservoirs. For this sensitivity evaluation, reservoir models are generated through the coupled flow-geomechanical simulator and are transformed via a rock-physics model into electrical conductivity models. It is shown that anomalous conductivity distribution in the resulting models is closely related to injected water saturation, but not closely related to newly created unsaturated fractures. Our numerical modeling experiments demonstrate that the crosswell EM method can be highly sensitive to conductivity changes that directly indicate the migration pathways of the injected fluid. Accordingly, the EM method can serve as an effective monitoring tool for distribution of injected fluids (i.e., migration pathways) during hydraulic fracturing operations« less