Seismic diffraction imaging for enhanced detection of small geological structures
Faults cause breaks in continuity of seismic horizons and at these discontinuities, diffraction patterns in seismic waves are generated. This is a well understood phenomenon but modern seismic acquisition and processing techniques are mainly directed towards providing high resolution images of the reflecting layers in the subsurface. Diffraction behaviour is largely ignored.
The potential for a diffraction analysis to reveal the locations of small faults and dykes that can impact on underground coal mine operations is therefore a fertile area for investigation. Unexpected small geological structures within a longwall panel may damage cutting machines and stop mining. The structures are too small to be resolved by conventional seismic reflection methods. This problem exists in every coal mine in Australia and fully recognised by the mine operators.
This research aims to develop advanced processing algorithms to utilise diffraction imaging for improved detection of small geological structures.
Example of processing performed to extract seismic diffractions for detection of small throw faults.
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