Abstract

The ability to detect small microearthquakes and identify their P- and S-phase arrivals is a key issue in hydrofracture downhole monitoring because of the low signal-to-noise ratios (S/N). An array-based waveform correlation approach (matched filter) is applied to improve the detectability of small magnitude events with mechanisms and locations similar to a nearby master event. After detecting the weak events, a transformed spectrogram method is used to identify the phase arrivals. The technique has been tested on a downhole monitoring data set of the microseismic events induced by hydraulic fracturing. It is shown that, for this case, one event with a S/N around 6 dB, which is barely detectable using an array-stacked short-time average/long-time average (STA/LTA) detector under a reasonable false alarm rate, is readily detected on the array-stacked correlation traces. The transformed spectrogram analysis of the detected events improves P- and S-phase picking.

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