Processing of shear waves from VSP data at the Forsmark site investigation

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Geofysik

Author: Gwendal Salmon; [2008]

Keywords: ;


The Forsmark Nuclear Plant is one of the largest in Sweden and produces around one sixth of the total electrical energy in the country. It is situated on the east coast of Sweden in the Uppland region. Nuclear waste has to be properly handled every year and Forsmark is one site proposed for long-term storage of all spent fuel from Swedish nuclear power reactors. This potential high-level repository (a low-level one already exists in the area) will be based on the KBS-3 design process, which consists of 6000 iron-copper capsules where the waste will be stored for 30 years and finally buried 500 m down, isolated from the environment for100.000 years.

Before using the disposal site, numerous investigations must be done in the area so the risks are reduced as much as possible. These investigations include drilling of cored boreholes down to 1000 m depth. In this study the KFM01A borehole (figure 1.1) was used with different shot points to analyze possible anisotropy in the subsurface. The anisotropy in rocks can be due to different mechanisms as crystal and mineral grain alignment, crack and pore space alignment and thin layer anisotropy (Rowlands J. et al., 1993). For this purpose a shear wave splitting analysis was done in an attempt to determine both orientation and density of fractures.

Shear wave splitting has shown to be a very effective method detecting fractures, providing an unique ability to measure anisotropic seismic attributes that are sensitive to fractures (James E. Gaiser, 2004). This can be useful in many domains as in oil companies to improve reservoir management (James E. Gaiser, 2004) or as an imaging tool in fracture-controlled geothermal reservoirs, to monitor fluid pressure in the cracks and changes in crack density (Tang Chuanhai, 2005). Shear wave splitting studies have also been done in seismology for crustal studies (Rowlands J. et al., 1993).

When shear waves enter anisotropic medias they split in two approximately orthogonal components, where the faster and slower components will travel parallel and perpendicular to the fracture planes respectively. The time delay will depend of the amount of anisotropy and the path length. Different methods can be used to evaluate the anisotropy; polarization diagrams (Crampin et al., 1986), linear moveout plots of the horizontal components (Li et al.,1988).The procedure described by Li et al. (1988) are the techniques that are used in the present study.

The fractures orientation is also analyzed and compared with the general stress components in the area using well bore information from previous studies, as well as the general tectonic characteristics of the zone.

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