Publication Date



Technical Report: UTEP-CS-18-15


To extract all the oil from a well, petroleum engineers pump hot reactive chemicals into the well. This enhanced oil recovery process needs to be thoroughly monitored, since the aggressively hot liquid can seep out and, if unchecked, eventually pollute the sources of drinking water. At present, to monitor this process, engineers measure the seismic waves generated when the liquid fractures the minerals. However, the resulting seismic waves are weak in comparison with the background noise. Thus, the accuracy with which we can locate the spreading liquid based on these weak signals is low, and we get only a very crude approximate understanding of how the liquid propagates. To get a more accurate picture of the liquid propagation, we propose to use active seismic analysis: namely, we propose to generate strong seismic waves and use a large-N array of sensors to observe their propagation.