Seismo-Electromagnetic Thin-Bed Responses: Natural Signal Enhancements?

Niels Grobbe, Evert Slob

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We study if nature can help us overcome the very low signal-to-noise ratio of seismo-electromagnetic converted fields by investigating the effects of thin-bed geological structures on the seismo-electromagnetic signal. To investigate the effects of bed thinning on the seismo-electromagnetic interference patterns, we numerically simulate seismo-electromagnetic wave propagation through horizontally layered media with different amounts and thicknesses of thin beds. We distinguish two limits of bed thickness. Below the upper limit, the package of thin beds starts acting like an “effective” medium. Below the lower limit, further thinning does not affect the seismo-electromagnetic interface response signal strength anymore. We demonstrate seismo-electromagnetic sensitivity to changes in medium parameters on a spatial scale much smaller than the seismic resolution. Increasing amounts of thin beds can cause the interface response signal strength to increase or decrease. Whether constructive or destructive interference occurs seems to be dependent on the seismo-electromagnetic coupling coefficient contrasts. When the combined result of the contrast, between upper half-space and package of thin beds and the internal thin-bed contrast, is positive, constructive interference occurs. Destructive interference occurs when the combined contrast is negative. Maximum amplitude tuning occurs for thicknesses of thin-bed packages similar to the dominant pressure and shear wavelengths. Artifacts due to model periodicity are excluded by comparing periodic media with random models. By simulating moving oil/water contacts during production, where the oil layer is gradually being thinned, seismo-electromagnetic signals are proven very sensitive to oil/water contacts. An oil layer with a thickness of <1% of the dominant shear wavelength is still recognized.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2460-2479
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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