4D seismic imaging requires extensive time to setup, implement, and process to provide information on the progress of recovery efforts such as estimates of the size and shape of reservoirs and their internal artifacts. Conventional seismic imaging results in a resolution on the order of tens of meters. As an alternative, white noise reflection processes use sub-noise signals to image reservoirs and can potentially do this at scales below 1 meter.
Both simulations and lab experiments show that reflections from white noise processes can be used advantageously to localize discontinuities and track their movement through media. For example, for steam-based oil sands recovery processes, it is critical to have an understanding of the steam conformance to improve the efficiency of the recovery process. White noise signaling technologies can be used to monitor the spatial distribution of fluids e.g. a steam chamber interface, and objects e.g. shale layers and concretions, at higher frequencies resulting in finer resolution in real-time compared to conventional methods.
The results demonstrate that acquisition and ranging of discontinuities in the laboratory can be achieved at the centimeter scale. The methods are extended to concurrent use of multiple transducers to improve directionality and triangulation of discontinuities.