Direct micro-seismic event location and characterization from passive seismic data using convolutional neural networks

Hanchen Wang, Tariq Ali Alkhalifah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The ample size of time-lapse data often requires significant event detection and source location efforts, especially in areas like shale gas exploration regions where a large number of micro-seismic events are often recorded. In many cases, the real-time monitoring and locating of these events are essential to production decisions. Conventional methods face considerable drawbacks. For example, traveltime-based methods require traveltime picking of often noisy data, while migration and waveform inversion methods require expensive wavefield solutions and event detection. Both tasks require some human intervention, and this becomes a big problem when too many sources need to be located, which is common in micro-seismic monitoring. Machine learning has recently been used to identify micro-seismic events or locate their sources once they are identified and picked. We propose to use a novel artificial neural network framework to directly map seismic data, without any event picking or detection, to their potential source locations. We train two convolutional neural networks on labeled synthetic acoustic data containing simulated micro-seismic events to fulfill such requirements. One convolutional neural network, which has a global average pooling layer to reduce the computational cost while maintaining high-performance levels, aims to classify the number of events in the data. The other network predicts the source locations and other source features such as the source peak frequencies and amplitudes. To reduce the size of the input data to the network, we correlate the recorded traces with a central reference trace to allow the network to focus on the curvature of the input data near the zero-lag region. We train the networks to handle single, multi, and no event segments extracted from the data. Tests on a simple vertical varying model and a more realistic Otway field model demonstrate the approach's versatility and potential.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-77
Number of pages77
StatePublished - Jul 19 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Geophysics


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