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Energy Geosciences Colloquium: Geophysical Imaging of Fluid Flow and Transport and the Estimation of Flow Properties

April 23, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Geophysical methods can be instrumental in understanding the factors influencing fluid flow, such as structural features, and can even be used to estimate flow properties at depth. In this talk I will outline the development of several geophysical techniques for imaging fluid flow and flow properties. The presentation will follow a largely historical perspective, with an emphasis on the developments originating at Berkeley Laboratory. Early work focused on imaging structural features controlling fluid flow, using static images provided by two- and three-dimensional geophysical surveys.

The next advancement involved the use of time-lapse data to image saturation and pressure changes during hydrological experiments and reservoir production and injection. Time-lapse geophysical changes can often be related to reservoir dynamics and to subsurface properties such as hydraulic diffusivity. Given a sufficient set of observations, such as the variation of seismic amplitude with offset, it is possible to use geophysical data to distinguish between fluid saturation and fluid pressure changes. The dense spatial sampling provided by many geophysical imaging methods allows for alternative approaches such as the direct estimation of permeability.

The latest developments in the geophysical imaging of fluid flow are due to rapid temporal sampling as provided by automated data-gathering systems and semi-permanent arrays of instruments. Such time sampling allows for the determination of the onset of geophysical changes induced by fluid flow, and a more robust approach for estimating properties such as permeability.


About the Speaker: Donald W. Vasco (Senior Scientist, Energy Geosciences Division, Berkeley Laboratory)

Donald W. Vasco is a Senior Scientist at Berkeley Laboratory who has worked extensively in geophysical and fluid flow modeling with the goal of reservoir characterization. One key area of expertise is the modeling and inversion of deformation related to fluid flow and the use of geodetic data for reservoir characterization. He has 120 journal publications (with 80 first-authored papers) on these topics and more than twenty-five years of experience. A recently completed book on modeling and inversion techniques related to fluid flow and geophysical monitoring, entitled “Subsurface flow and imaging”, was published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press.





Hosted by: Quanlin Zhou, Martin Schoenball and Hang Deng


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Energy Geosciences Colloquium Committee