: This paper examines the seismic signatures of discrete, finite-length fractures, and outlines an approach for elastic, prestack reverse-time imaging of discrete fractures. The results of this study highlight the importance of incorporating fracture-generated P-S converted waves into the imaging method, and presents an alternate imaging condition that can be used in elastic reverse-time imaging when a direct wave is recorded (e g., for crosswell and VSP acquisition geometries).
The presence of natural and induced fractures in reservoir rock can significantly enhance oil and gas production, especially in tight formations. Additionally, fractures in rock engineering projects represent planes of mechanical weakness that can compromise the integrity of engineered structures built within the rock mass. Thus, a priori knowledge of the locations, orientations, and mechanical stiffnesses of fractures is desirable for the optimization of oil and gas production and in the design of safe underground structures.