Automatic high-resolution microseismic event detection via supervised machine learning

Shan Qu, Zhe Guan, Eric Verschuur, Yangkang Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    Microseismic methods are crucial for real-timemonitoring of the hydraulic fracturing dynamic status during the development of unconventional reservoirs. However, unlike the active-source seismic events, the microseismic events usually have low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), which makes its data processing challenging. To overcome the noise issue of the weak microseismic events, we propose a new workflow for high-resolution microseismic event detection. For the preprocessing, fix-sized segmentation with a length of 2.wavelength is used to divide the data into segments. Later on, 191 features have been extracted and used as the input data to train the support vector machine (SVM) model. These features include 63 1-D time/spectraldomain features, and 128 2-D texture features, which indicate the continuity, smoothness, and irregularity of the events/noise. The proposed feature extractionmaximally exploits the limited information of each segment. Afterward, we use a combination of univariate feature selection and random-forest-based recursive feature elimination for feature selection to avoid overfitting. This feature selection strategy not only finds the best features, but also decides the optimal number of features that are needed for the best accuracy. Regarding the training process, SVM with a Gaussian kernel is used. In addition, a cross-validation (CV) process is implemented for automatic parameter setting. In the end, a group of synthetic and field microseismic data with different levels of complexity show that the proposed workflow is much more robust than the state-of-the-art short-term-average over long-term-average ratio (STA/LTA) method and also performs better than the convolutional-neural-networks (CNN), for this case where the amount of training data sets is limited. A demo for the synthetic example is available: event detection microseismic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2106-2121
    JournalGeophysical Journal International
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Bibliographical note



    • 2-D texture features
    • Event detection
    • High-resolution
    • Machine learning
    • Microseismic
    • SVM


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