Geophysics - Reservoir Characterization

Rock Physics, Geomechanics and Hazard of Fluid-Induced Seismicity



  Prof. Serge Shapiro (Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany)


  1 or 2 days


  Geophysics – Reservoir Characterization





Course book

  See recommended reading below


  5 or 10 CPD points




A version of this course was previously offered as OTE 2


Course description

Part 1 (20% of the course) includes: Rock physical and poroelastic fundamentals of fluid-induced seismicity (including microseosmicity): Elastic waves, Elastic Anisotropy, Poroelastic waves, Slow wave and diffusion, Fluid flow in rocks, Seismic attenuation, Reservoir properties: permeability, porosity, fluid viscosity, fluid elasticity, rock elasticity.

Part 2 (20% of the course) includes: Geomechanics and physics of faulting and earthquakes and principles of the microsiesmic monitoring method: faulting types, faulting criteria, tectonic stresses, rock criticality, detection, location, earthquake mechanisims, moment tensors and magnitudes of earthquakes, microseismic common receiver gathers, microseismic reflection imaging.

Part 3 (40% of the course) includes: Various types of induced seismicity: production-induced earthquakes, injection induced earthquakes, geothermal systems, hydraulic fracturing, waste water injection and carbon sequestration; interpretation of microseismic data for reservoir stimulation and hydraulic fracturing: types of induced seismicity, pressure diffusion, rt-plots, triggering fronts, back fronts, hydraulic diffusivity, event density, event rate, hydraulic anisotropy, hydraulic non-linearity, hydraulic fracturing, fracture propagation, volume balance, fluid loss, stimulated volume, correlations with hydrocarbon production, data quality control, estimation of hydraulic properties of rocks, fracture efficiency, enhanced permeability, permeability of fracture, permeability of rocks.

Part 4 (20% of the course) includes: Fundamentals of assessment of induced-seismicity hazard (injection, post-injection and disposal operations): Seismicty statistics, Gutenberg-Richter law, Interevent times, Seismogenic index, Rupture propagation, Bounds of magnitude frequencies, Maximim expected magnitude, triggered and induced earthquakes, factors controlling hazard and requirements for microseismic monitoring; Hazard of various types of induced seismicity: hydraulic fracturing, geothermal systems, waste water injection and carbon sequestration, hydrocarbon production, water reservoirs.


Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, the learner will be able to:

  • define the potential of microseismic monitoring for a particular task of the characterization of hydrocarbon and geothermal reservoirs;
  • use and discuss main instruments of the quantitative interpretation of microseismic data;
  • interpret main features of microseismic data;
  • discuss and control the quality of microseismic data;
  • interpret the machanisms of microseismic events;
  • use and discuss following concepts: poroelasticity, reservoir properties, earthquake physical characteristics, microseismic event location principles, physics and modeling of hydraulic fracturing;
  • use and discuss main instruments for assessment of the hazard of induced seismicity.


Course outline

  • Rock physics and geomechanics of induced seismicity:
    Poroelastic phenomena and seismic waves
    Stress, pore pressure and rock failure
    Geomechanics of tectonic and induced earthquakes

  • The method of microseismic monitoring:
    Observation systems, detection and location of (micro)earthquakes
    Microseismic wavefields and imaging

  • Seismicity, pressure diffusion and hydraulic fracturing:
    Various types of induced seismicity
    Modeling of fluid-induced seismicity
    Seismicity during a fluid injection
    Seismicity after a termination of a fluid injection
    Hydraulic properties of reservoirs and induced seismicity
    Hydraulic fracturing of hydrocarbon reservoirs
    Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing
    Non-linear diffusion and seismicity in unconventional reservoirs

  • Hazard of induced seismicity:
    Rates and magnitudes of fluid-induced earthquakes
    Seismogenic index
    Statistics of large magnitudes
    Hazard of various types of induced seismicity


Participants' profile

The course is targeted to Geophysicists, Geologists, Petrophysicits, Reservoir Engineers, Graduate and Postgraduate Students, Researchers, Interpreters.



Graduated (bachelor level) in geology, or geophysics, or physics, or mathematics, or petroleum engineering, or geosciences.


Recommended reading

S.A. Shapiro, 2015, Fluid-Induced Seismicity, Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press, pp 289., ISBN: 9780521884570


About the instructor

Prof. Serge Shapiro

Serge A. Shapiro has been Professor of Geophysics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany since 1999, and since 2004, Director of the PHASE (PHysics and Application of Seismic Emission) university consortium project. From 2001 till 2008 he was one of Coordinator of the German Continental Deep Drilling Program (KTB). He was one of PIs of the 3rd KTB long-term fluid-induced seismicity experiment. His research interests include seismogenic processes, wave phenomena, exploration seismology, and rock physics. He received the SEG Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal in 2013 for his pioneering research on fluid-induced seismicity and rock physics, and in 2004 was elected a Fellow of The Institute of Physics (UK).

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