Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Geophysics (PhD)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


Wayne D Pennington


Crosswell data set contains a range of angles limited only by the geometry of the source and receiver configuration, the separation of the boreholes and the depth to the target. However, the wide angles reflections present in crosswell imaging result in amplitude-versus-angle (AVA) features not usually observed in surface data. These features include reflections from angles that are near critical and beyond critical for many of the interfaces; some of these reflections are visible only for a small range of angles, presumably near their critical angle.

High-resolution crosswell seismic surveys were conducted over a Silurian (Niagaran) reef at two fields in northern Michigan, Springdale and Coldspring. The Springdale wells extended to much greater depths than the reef, and imaging was conducted from above and from beneath the reef. Combining the results from images obtained from above with those from beneath provides additional information, by exhibiting ranges of angles that are different for the two images, especially for reflectors at shallow depths, and second, by providing additional constraints on the solutions for Zoeppritz equations.

Inversion of seismic data for impedance has become a standard part of the workflow for quantitative reservoir characterization. Inversion of crosswell data using either deterministic or geostatistical methods can lead to poor results with phase change beyond the critical angle, however, the simultaneous pre-stack inversion of partial angle stacks may be best conducted with restrictions to angles less than critical.

Deterministic inversion is designed to yield only a single model of elastic properties (best-fit), while the geostatistical inversion produces multiple models (realizations) of elastic properties, lithology and reservoir properties. Geostatistical inversion produces results with far more detail than deterministic inversion. The magnitude of difference in details between both types of inversion becomes increasingly pronounced for thinner reservoirs, particularly those beyond the vertical resolution of the seismic.

For any interface imaged from above and from beneath, the results AVA characters must result from identical contrasts in elastic properties in the two sets of images, albeit in reverse order. An inversion approach to handle both datasets simultaneously, at pre-critical angles, is demonstrated in this work.

The main exploration problem for carbonate reefs is determining the porosity distribution. Images of elastic properties, obtained from deterministic and geostatistical simultaneous inversion of a high-resolution crosswell seismic survey were used to obtain the internal structure and reservoir properties (porosity) of Niagaran Michigan reef. The images obtained are the best of any Niagaran pinnacle reef to date.