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Landro, M, Zumberge M.  2017.  Estimating saturation and density changes caused by CO2 injection at Sleipner - Using time-lapse seismic amplitude-variation-with-offset and time-lapse gravity. Interpretation-a Journal of Subsurface Characterization. 5:T243-T257.   10.1190/int-2016-0120.1   AbstractWebsite

We have developed a calibrated, simple time-lapse seismic method for estimating saturation changes from the CO2-storage project at Sleipner offshore Norway. This seismic method works well to map changes when CO2 is migrating laterally away from the injection point. However, it is challenging to detect changes occurring below CO2 layers that have already been charged by some CO2. Not only is this partly caused by the seismic shadow effects, but also by the fact that the velocity sensitivity for CO2 change in saturation from 0.3 to 1.0 is significantly less than saturation changes from zero to 0.3. To circumvent the seismic shadow zone problem, we combine the time-lapse seismic method with time-lapse gravity measurements. This is done by a simple forward modeling of gravity changes based on the seismically derived saturation changes, letting these saturation changes be scaled by an arbitrary constant and then by minimizing the least-squares error to obtain the best fit between the scaled saturation changes and the measured time-lapse gravity data. In this way, we are able to exploit the complementary properties of time-lapse seismic and gravity data.

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Zumberge, MA, Hatfield W, Wyatt FK.  2018.  Measuring seafloor strain with an optical fiber interferometer. Earth and Space Science. 5:371-379.   10.1029/2018ea000418   AbstractWebsite

We monitored the length of an optical fiber cable stretched between two seafloor anchors separated by 200m at a depth of 1900m, 90km west of Newport, OR, near the toe of the accretionary prism of the Cascadia subduction zone. We continuously recorded length changes using an equal arm Michelson interferometer formed by the sensing cable fiber and a mandrel-wound reference fiber. A second, nearly identical fiber interferometer (sharing the same cable and housing), differing only in its fiber's temperature coefficient, was recorded simultaneously, allowing the separation of optical path length change due to temperature from that due to strain. Data were collected for 100days following deployment on 18 October 2015, and showed an overall strain (length change) of -10.7 epsilon (shorter by 2.14mm). At seismic periods, the sensitivity was a few n epsilon; at tidal periods the noise level was a few tens of n epsilon. The RMS variation after removal of a -79n epsilon/day drift over the final 30days was 36n epsilon. No strain transients were observed. An unexpected response to the varying hydrostatic load from ocean tides was observed with a coefficient of -101n epsilon per meter of ocean tide height.

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Zumberge, M, Alnes H, Eiken O, Sasagawa G, Stenvold T.  2008.  Precision of seafloor gravity and pressure measurements for reservoir monitoring. Geophysics. 73:WA133-WA141.   10.1190/1.2976777   AbstractWebsite

Changes with gravity over time have proven to be valuable for inferring subsurface density changes associated with production from oil and natural gas reservoirs. Such inferences allow the monitoring of moving fluid fronts in a reservoir and provide an opportunity to optimize production over the life of the reservoir. Our group began making time-lapse seafloor gravity and pressure measurements in 1998. To date, we have surveyed six fields offshore Norway; we have made three repeat surveys at one field and one repeat survey at another. We incorporated a land-gravity sensor into a remotely operated seafloor housing. Three such relative gravity sensors mounted in a single frame are carried by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to concrete benchmarks permanently placed on the seafloor. Reference benchmarks sited outside the reservoir boundaries are assumed to provide stable fiducial points. Typical surveys last from a few days to a few weeks and cover from 8 to 80 benchmarks, with multiple observations of each. In our earliest surveys, we obtained an intrasurvey repeatability of approximately 20 mu Gal, but recently we have been achieving 3-mu Gal repeatability in gravity and approximately 5 mm in benchmark depth (deduced from simultaneously recorded ambient seawater pressure). We attribute the improved precision to several operational factors, including the use of multiple gravity sensors, frequent benchmark reoccupation, precise relocation and orientation of the sensors, repeated calibrations on land, and minimization of vibrational and thermal perturbations to the sensors. We believe that high-precision time-lapse gravity monitoring can be used to track changes in the height of a gas-water contact in a flooded reservoir, with a precision of a few meters.