Episode 93: Practical and useful applications for microseismics with Vladimir Grechka

In this episode, host Andrew Geary speaks with author Vladimir Grechka on his latest book, Anisotropy and Microseismics: Theory and Practice.

Vladimir highlights why anisotropy and microseismics are a great pairing, how the shift from P-waves to shear waves changed the industry, and reflects on what we will find in seismology books in the next decade.

Seismic Soundoff · 93: Practical and useful applications for microseismics with Vladimir Grechka

Each chapter of the book starts with a question, followed by what’s exciting about it, where the mystery might lie, and what could be the potential value of answering the question. Vladimir shares what question he was most excited to explore and what has yet to be fully answered. This is a conversation not to miss!

Buy the book today (e-book also available)!

Vladimir Grechka received an MSc degree (1984) in geophysical exploration from Novosibirsk State University, Russia, and a Ph.D. (1990) in geophysics from the Institute of Geophysics, Novosibirsk, Russia. He worked in the same institute from 1984 to 1994 as a research scientist. He was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Dallas from 1994 to 1995. Then, Vladimir joined the department of Geophysics at Colorado School of Mines, where he was an associate research professor and a co-leader of the Center for Wave Phenomena.

From 2001 to 2012, Vladimir was a senior staff geophysicist at Shell, and from 2012 to 2019 a senior technical consultant at Marathon Oil. Since 2019, Vladimir has been a senior adviser at Borehole Seismic, focusing on novel uses of microseismic and VSP for reservoir characterization. He received the East European Award from the European Geophysical Society (1992), the J. Clarence Karcher Award (1997) from SEG, Honorable Recognition Award from EAGE (2010), and the Best Paper in The Leading Edge Award (2013) from SEG. Vladimir teaches courses on seismic anisotropy for SEG and EAGE.

Book abstract
Downhole microseismic monitoring of stimulation and production of unconventional reservoirs has resulted in renewed industry interest in seismic anisotropy. This occurred not only because anisotropy of hydrocarbon-bearing shales is among the strongest in rocks but also because of downhole microseismics shifts the focus from the standard exploration of P-waves to shear waves. The consequences of the difference in wave type are profound for geophysicists because everyone involved – from theoreticians to developers and users of microseismic data-processing software – must be aware of shear-wave splitting, singularities, and multivalued wavefronts, which have been largely irrelevant for P-waves propagating in relatively simple geologic settings.

Anisotropy and Microseismics leads readers on a path of discovery of rarely examined wave phenomena and their possible usage. Most of the chapters begin by formulating a question, followed by explanations of what is exciting about it, where the mystery might lie, and what could be the potential value of answering the question. Importantly, the findings entail useful applications, as showcased by the unmistakably practical flavor of the chapters on microseismic event location, moment tensor inversion, and imaging. As an investigation of microseismic methodologies and techniques is conducted, it often yields unexpected results.

Original music by Zach Bridges.

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This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Ted Bakamjian, Jennifer Crockett, Ally McGinnis, and Mick Swiney.
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