Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

3D synthetic aperture for controlled-source electromagnetics
by Knaak, Allison, Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines, 2015, 174; 3682006
Abstract (Summary)

Locating hydrocarbon reservoirs has become more challenging with smaller, deeper or shallower targets in complicated environments. Controlled-source electromagnetics (CSEM), is a geophysical electromagnetic method used to detect and derisk hydrocarbon reservoirs in marine settings, but it is limited by the size of the target, low-spatial resolution, and depth of the reservoir. To reduce the impact of complicated settings and improve the detecting capabilities of CSEM, I apply synthetic aperture to CSEM responses, which virtually increases the length and width of the CSEM source by combining the responses from multiple individual sources. Applying a weight to each source steers or focuses the synthetic aperture source array in the inline and crossline directions. To evaluate the benefits of a 2D source distribution, I test steered synthetic aperture on 3D diffusive fields and view the changes with a new visualization technique. Then I apply 2D steered synthetic aperture to 3D noisy synthetic CSEM fields, which increases the detectability of the reservoir significantly. With more general weighting, I develop an optimization method to find the optimal weights for synthetic aperture arrays that adapts to the information in the CSEM data. The application of optimally weighted synthetic aperture to noisy, simulated electromagnetic fields reduces the presence of noise, increases detectability, and better defines the lateral extent of the target. I then modify the optimization method to include a term that minimizes the variance of random, independent noise. With the application of the modified optimization method, the weighted synthetic aperture responses amplifies the anomaly from the reservoir, lowers the noise floor, and reduces noise streaks in noisy CSEM responses from sources offset kilometers from the receivers. Even with changes to the location of the reservoir and perturbations to the physical properties, synthetic aperture is still able to highlight targets correctly, which allows use of the method in locations where the subsurface models are built from only estimates. In addition to the technical work in this thesis, I explore the interface between science, government, and society by examining the controversy over hydraulic fracturing and by suggesting a process to aid the debate and possibly other future controversies.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Snieder, Roel
Commitee: Berger, John, Krahenbuhl, Rich, Sava, Paul, Schneider, Jen
School: Colorado School of Mines
Department: Geophysics
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 76/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geophysics, Electromagnetics, Public policy
Keywords: Beamforming, Csem, Electromagnetics, Hydraulic fracturing, Public policy, Synthetic aperture
Publication Number: 3682006
ISBN: 978-1-321-55105-1
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