Seismic waveforms and velocity model heterogeneity: Towards a full-waveform microseismic location algorithm

D. A. Angus*, A. Aljaafari, P. Usher, J. P. Verdon

*Corresponding author for this work

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

11 Citations (Scopus)


Seismic forward modeling is an integral component of microseismic location algorithms, yet there is generally no one correct approach, but rather a range of acceptable approaches that can be used. Since seismic signals are band limited, the length scale of heterogeneities can significantly influence the seismic wavefronts and waveforms. This can be especially important for borehole microseismic monitoring, where subsurface heterogeneity can be strong and/or vary on length scales equivalent to or less than the dominant source wavelength. In this paper, we show that ray-based approaches are not ubiquitously suitable for all borehole microseismic applications. For unconventional reservoir settings, ray-based algorithms may not be suitably accurate for advanced microseismic imaging. Here we focus on exploring the feasibility of using one-way wave equations as forward propagators for full waveform event location techniques. As a feasibility study, we implement an acoustic wide-angle wave equation and use a velocity model interpolation approach to explore the computational efficiency and accuracy of the solution. We compare the results with an exact solution to evaluate travel-time and amplitude errors. The results show that accurate travel-times can be predicted to within 2. ms of the true solution for modest velocity model interpolation. However, for accurate amplitude prediction or for higher dominant source frequencies, a larger number of velocity model interpolations is required.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-233
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


  • Full waveform
  • Location error
  • Microseismic
  • Ray theory

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