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New Approach to Seismic Imaging of CO2 Storage Reservoirs and Seals


An example of the first-ever full-elastic wavefield produced using only vertical vibrator sources. The sensors were 3C geophones. When vertical-vibrator data are recorded by only single-component vertical geophones, the SV-P mode (panel c) still provides an S-wave image and S-wave attributes.

Optimal characterization of a CO2 storage reservoir and its sealing units requires that geological conditions extending from the earth surface to units below a target reservoir be imaged with full-elastic seismic wavefields. To achieve this objective, geology must be illuminated not only by conventional P-P waves, but also by all possible S-S modes (both fast and slow modes), all possible converted-wave modes (P-SV and SV-P), and diffraction imaging must also be done in addition to reflection imaging. The GSCO2 addresses this challenge by using seismic imaging technology that has not been utilized in any DOE-supported CO2 storage project. This technology is based on the fundamental concept that all seismic sources used to create P-wave illuminating wavefields (vertical vibrators, vertical impacts, shot-hole explosives) create more direct-SV energy than direct-P energy. This fundamental wave physics has been ignored by geophysicists engaged in seismic reflection seismology. The illuminating direct-S modes produced by common “P-wave” sources provide the means whereby full-elastic wavefields illuminate a CO2 reservoir and seal. 3C geophones must be deployed to acquire all wave modes involved in full-elastic wavefield illumination with P-wave sources (see figure). Such 3C data have been acquired at the GSCO2 as 3C3D vertical seismic profile (VSP) data. When three-dimensional (3D) surface-seismic data are acquired with P-wave sources and only 1C vertical geophones as has been done at the GSCO2, S-wave illumination can still be done by utilizing the SV-P mode (panel c, figure). This SV-P mode is embedded in vertical-geophone data together with the conventional P-P mode. The SV-P images that the GSCO2 will produce from surface-based vertical-geophone data will be the first SV-P images ever made across a CO2 storage site.


Deep Seismic

Bob Hardage

Bob A. Hardage, PhD
University of Texas, Austin

Bob A. Hardage received a PhD in physics from Oklahoma State University. He worked at Phillips Petroleum Company for 23 years followed by management positions at WesternAtlas. He then established a multicomponent seismic research laboratory at the Bureau of Economic Geology where he is now Senior Research Scientist. He has published four books on VSP, crosswell profiling, seismic stratigraphy, and multicomponent seismic technology. He has served six years on the Board of Directors of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) as Editor, First VP, President Elect, President, and Past President. SEG has awarded him a Special Commendation, Life Membership, and Honorary Membership. He wrote the AAPG Explorer column for six years. AAPG honored him with a Distinguished Service award for promoting geophysics among the
geological community.

Michael V. DeAngelo

Michael V. DeAngelo, MS

Michael V. DeAngelo is a geophysicist specializing in seismic interpretation. He received an M.S. degree in geophysics from the University of Texas at El Paso in 1988. He joined the Bureau of Economic Geology in 1998 and has been working on a variety of onshore and offshore reservoir characterization projects. His area of expertise is multicomponent seismic technologies. He has published one book on multicomponent seismic technology.

Diana Sava

Diana Sava, PhD
University of Texas, Austin

Diana Sava is a Research Associate at the Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin. She holds an Engineering degree in Geophysics (1995) from the University of Bucharest, a M.Sc. (1998) and a Ph.D. (2004) in Geophysics from Stanford University where she was a member of the Stanford Rock-Physics Project. Her main research interests are in statistical rock-physics and quantitative integration of geological and seismic data for reservoir characterization, CO2 sequestration, rock-physics joint inversion of electrical and seismic data for gas-hydrate characterization, and rock-physics of unconventional resources. She is a recipient of the President’s Certificate for Excellence in Oral Presentation (2006) from Energy Minerals Division, American Association of Petroleum Geologists, for "Seismic Estimation of Gas Hydrate Concentrations in Deepwater Environments: Assumptions and Limitations", co-authored by Bob A. Hardage.

Pore Scale, Petrophysics, and Seismic

Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan, PhD

Dr. Michael Jordan is a Senior Research Scientist at SINTEF Petroleum Research in Trondheim, Norway. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of Göttingen, Germany, in 2003. His current research activities include CO2 monitoring, seismic tomography and inversion, the integration of various data types and joint inversion, the estimation of spatial uncertainties, and the derivation of petrophysical parameters.

Anouar Romdhane

Anouar Romdhane, PhD

Dr. Anouar Romdhane is a Research Scientist at SINTEF Petroleum Research in Trondheim, Norway. He received a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, in 2010. His current research activities include seismic and electromagnetic modelling and imaging, full waveform inversion, CO2 storage, and model updating while drilling.

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