Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



Previous practice to determine the source mechanism of microseismic events associated with hydraulic fracture typically includes only far-field terms in moment tensor inversion. The intermediate-field terms and near-field term are normally ignored because of increased complexity in the calculation. Source-receiver distances in hydraulic fracturing are usually 1000 ft and the effects of near and intermediate-field terms are still unknown. We perform a study to improve the precision of the source mechanism by including the intermediate-field term in moment tensor inversion. We find that the intermediate-field term contributes 1/3 of the signal amplitude when the source-receiver distance is 1000 ft. The intermediate-field term contributes 1/20 of the signal amplitude when the source-receiver distance is 6700 ft. Note that "1/20" is at the noise level. Thus, when source-receiver distance is less than 6700ft, we need to consider the intermediate-field term. Especially, when the distance is 1000ft, the intermediate-field term becomes significant. Similarly, near-field terms contribute less than 1/20 of the signal amplitude when distances are larger than 300 ft. In our case, we confirm that the near-field term can be ignored in microseismic analysis. Our results indicate that the intermediate-field terms can improve moment tensor inversion by 2% to 40% at source-receiver ranges less than 1000 ft. When distances are larger than 6700, the improvement is limited to 1%. In the presence of noise, the intermediate-field terms help to improve the moment tensor inversion (15% improvement with noise present vs 3% improvement without noise). Our study provides a foundation for using intermediate-field terms in moment tensor inversion in the studies of hydraulic fractures.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dahi Taleghani, Arash