Microseismic Events & Monitoring

Using near-surface sensors, the Geophysical Institute of Israel is developing new methods to detect microseismic events to reduce the cost of microseismic monitoring.
This article appeared in Vol. 15, No. 1 - 2018


Benefits of Microseismic Monitoring for CO2 Storage

CO2 injection at In Salah. © Nick Riley The long-term geological storage of CO2 is increasingly accepted thanks to the development of microseismic techniques. Microseismic monitoring of CO2 injection allows operators and regulators to verify the safe containment and actual location of CO2 underground. Thanks to the development of new sensor layouts and processing techniques, very weak microseismic events can be monitored and thus provide information on properties such as:

  • permeability;
  • fluid pathways;
  • fault stability;
  • and, especially the identification of potential leaks and stress field changes.

This helps operators mitigate the associated potential risks. 

Microseismicity is monitored at several CO2 storage sites around the world, including:

  • In Salah (Algeria), 
  • Decatur (Illinois, U.S.), 
  • and Longyearbyen CO2Lab (Svalbard).

Problems Detecting Microseismic Events

In most cases the CO2 injection induced very weak seismic events, only detectable by shallow-buried near-surface or downhole sensors. Microseismic monitoring helps assess the potential for induced seismicity that may affect local infrastructure and communities near the site.

Reducing the Cost of Microseismic Monitoring

In addition to 2D and 3D onshore seismic acquisition and processing, The Geophysical Institute of Israel is developing methods to detect microseismic events using near-surface sensors, thus reducing the cost of microseismic monitoring while preserving the required regulatory insight and providing additional information for the operators.


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