Microseismic monitoring using a fibre-optic Distributed Acoustic Sensor (DAS) array

James P Verdon*, Steve A Horne, Andrew Clarke, Anna L Stork, Alan F Baird, J-Michael Kendall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)
372 Downloads (Pure)


We present a case study demonstrating the use of an “L”-shaped downhole fibre-optic array to monitor microseismicity. We use a relatively simple method to detect events from continuous waveform data, and develop a workflow for manual event location. Locations are defined with a cylindrical coordinate system, with the horizontal axis of the DAS cable being the axis of symmetry. Events are located using three manual “picks”, constraining (1) the zero-offset “broadside” channel to the event (2) the P-S wave arrival time difference at the broadside channel, and (3) the angle, q of the event from the array. Because the one-component DAS array is unable to record P-wave energy on the broadside channel, the P-wave pick is made indirectly by ensuring that the modeled P- and S-wave moveout curves match the observed data. The q angle requires that signal is observed on the vertical part of the array, in our case this is possible because an engineered fiber, rather than standard telecommunications fiber, provided a significant reduction in the noise level. Because only three picks need to be made, our manual approach is significantly more efficient than equivalent manual processing of downhole geophone data, where picks for P- and S-waves must be made for each receiver. We find that the located events define a tight cluster around the injection interval, indicating that this approach provides relatively precise and accurate event locations. A surface microseismic array was also used at this site, which detected significantly fewer events, the locations of which had significantly greater scatter than the DAS array locations. We conclude by examining some other aspects of the DAS microseismic data, including the presence of multiple events within very short time windows, and the presence of converted phases that appear to represent scattering of energy from the hydraulic fractures themselves.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-96
Number of pages96
Early online date16 Mar 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Mar 2020


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