Geomechanical Monitoring of CO2 Storage Reservoirs with Microseismicity

Bettina P. Goertz-Allmann, Volker Oye, Steven J. Gibbons, Robert Bauer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We analyse microseismicity induced during the Decatur, Illinois, carbon capture and storage (CCS) demonstration project. More than 10,000 microseismic events were detected during the injection of 1 Mio metric tons of CO2 over the course of 3 years. The seismicity occurs in distinct clusters and shows little to no correlation to the progressing CO2 front. For geomechanical reservoir characterization and seal integrity assessment, we need very high depth resolution for the event locations, such that events can be unambiguously attributed to specific formations. We therefore compare event locations using different sensor distributions (borehole and surface sensors) and/or including additional phase arrival information besides direct phases. Analysis of Brune-type stress drop of induced microseismic events with two different estimation methods exhibits signs of pore pressure diffusion processes within individual clusters, although the overall seismicity across clusters does not correlate with pressure gradient or CO2 front. An observed distance dependence of stress drop from the nucleation point within a cluster suggests a local pressure gradient over the extent of the cluster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3937-3947
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy Procedia
StatePublished - 2017
Event13th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, GHGT 2016 - Lausanne, Switzerland
Duration: Nov 14 2016Nov 18 2016


  • CO storage
  • Decatur
  • geomechanics
  • induced microseismicity
  • source parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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