We have evaluated the concept of practicing S-wave reflection seismology with legacy 3D seismic data generated by a P-wave source and recorded with only vertical geophones. This type of S-wave imaging is based on the principle that seismic P-wave sources not only produce a downgoing illuminating P wavefield, but they also simultaneously produce a downgoing illuminating SV wavefield that, in almost all cases, is suitable for S-wave reflection imaging. The S-mode used in this study is the SV-P, or converted-P, mode. This mode involves a downgoing illuminating SV wavefield and an upgoing reflected P-mode that is recorded by vertical geophones. In flat-layered stratigraphy, the lengths of the SV and P raypaths in SV-P imaging are identical to the lengths of the SV and P raypaths in P-SV imaging with P-sources and 3C geophones. P-SV imaging of deep rocks has been practiced for more than two decades; SV-P imaging is a new concept. SV-P data should provide the same options for investigating deep rocks as do P-SV data. We have determined one of the equivalences between SV-P data extracted from vertical-geophone data and P-SV data extracted from horizontal geophones: that both modes react to azimuth-dependent variations in the S velocity in anisotropic rocks. Azimuthal variations in the SV-P traveltime can be used to define the polarization direction of the fast-S-wave mode, which is also the azimuth of the maximum horizontal stress (SHmax). Our investigation demonstrates a noninvasive method for monitoring changes in the SHmax azimuth across a CO2 storage reservoir, or any targeted porous rock, as fluids are cycled into, and then out of, that rock’s pore space.

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