Monitoring hydraulic stimulation using telluric sounding

Published on 2018-01-11T05:00:00Z (GMT) by
Abstract The telluric sounding (TS) method is introduced as a potential tool for monitoring hydraulic fracturing at depth. The advantage of this technique is that it requires only the measurement of electric fields, which are cheap and easy when compared with magnetotelluric measurements. Additionally, the transfer function between electric fields from two locations is essentially the identity matrix for a 1D Earth no matter what the vertical structure. Therefore, changes in the earth resulting from the introduction of conductive bodies underneath one of these sites can be associated with deviations away from the identity matrix, with static shift appearing as a galvanic multiplier at all periods. Singular value decomposition and eigenvalue analysis can reduce the complexity of the resulting telluric distortion matrix to simpler parameters that can be visualised in the form of Mohr circles. This technique would be useful in constraining the lateral extent of resistivity changes. We test the viability of utilising the TS method for monitoring on both a synthetic dataset and for a hydraulic stimulation of an enhanced geothermal system case study conducted in Paralana, South Australia. The synthetic data example shows small but consistent changes in the transfer functions associated with hydraulic stimulation, with grids of Mohr circles introduced as a useful diagnostic tool for visualising the extent of fluid movement. The Paralana electric field data were relatively noisy and affected by the dead band making the analysis of transfer functions difficult. However, changes in the order of 5% were observed from 5 s to longer periods. We conclude that deep monitoring using the TS method is marginal at depths in the order of 4 km and that in order to have meaningful interpretations, electric field data need to be of a high quality with low levels of site noise.

Cite this collection

Rees, Nigel; Heinson, Graham; Conway, Dennis (2018): Monitoring hydraulic stimulation using telluric sounding. figshare.