Estimation of fracture parameters using elastic full-waveform inversion

Zhendong Zhang, Tariq Ali Alkhalifah, Juwon Oh, Ilya Tsvankin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Scopus citations


Current methodologies to characterize fractures at the reservoir scale have serious limitations in spatial resolution and suffer from uncertainties in the inverted parameters. Here, we propose to estimate the spatial distribution and physical properties of fractures using full-waveform inversion (FWI) of multicomponent surface seismic data. An effective orthorhombic medium with five clusters of vertical fractures distributed in a checkboard fashion is used to test the algorithm. A shape regularization term is added to the objective function to improve the estimation of the fracture azimuth, which is otherwise poorly constrained. The cracks are assumed to be penny-shaped to reduce the nonuniqueness in the inverted fracture weaknesses and achieve a faster convergence. To better understand the inversion results, we analyze the radiation patterns induced by the perturbations in the fracture weaknesses and orientation. Due to the high-resolution potential of elastic FWI, the developed algorithm can recover the spatial fracture distribution and identify localized “sweet spots” of intense fracturing. However, the fracture azimuth can be resolved only using long-offset data.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSEG Technical Program Expanded Abstracts 2017
PublisherSociety of Exploration Geophysicists
StatePublished - Aug 17 2017

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-10-01
Acknowledgements: We thank Nabil Masmoudi and Yike Liu (IGG, CAS) for their helpful discussions. For computer time, this research used the resources of the Supercomputing Laboratory at King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia.


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