Application of Multi-channel Wiener Filters to the Suppression of Ambient Seismic Noise in Passive Seismic Arrays

Wang, J. and Tilmann, F. J. and White, R. S. and Soosalu, H. and Bordoni, P. (2008) Application of Multi-channel Wiener Filters to the Suppression of Ambient Seismic Noise in Passive Seismic Arrays. Leading Edge, 27 (2). pp. 232-238. DOI

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We are concerned with the detection and location of small seismic events, such as can be encountered in monitoring hydro-fracturing with surface sensors. Ambient seismic noise is the main problem in detection of weak seismic phases from these events, particularly as the sites of interest are often within or near producing fields. Band-pass filtering and stacking are the most widely used techniques for enhancing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in passive seismic experiments, but they are of limited value when noise and signal share the same frequency band. Seismic arrays can be used to reduce the unwanted noise (e.g., traffic noise, pumping noise, scattering ground roll) by delay-and-sum techniques (also called beamforming) or by frequency-wavenumber filtering. Beamforming maximizes the array response for the assumed direction and slowness of the signal. Whereas in some situations it can be highly effective, and the azimuth and slowness of the signal can be determined by a grid search approach, it is vulnerable to contamination by side-lobe energy, particularly for broadband signals and noise (Rost and Thomas, 2002). Frequency-wavenumber filtering can be very effective but requires regularly spaced arrays and implicitly assumes plane-wave propagation. Both methods perform poorly when the waveform changes significantly between stations of the array, as might be caused, for example, by differences in site response. In this article, we present a multichannel Wiener filtering technique, which allows the removal of coherent noise from three-component 2D arrays without making a priori assumptions about the mode of propagation (e.g., no plane-wave assumption is required for the noise field). We test the effectiveness of this filter with two case studies. In the first case, we add synthetic signals of varying strengths to actual noise data recorded with a hexagonal array during hydro-fracturing within a producing oil field in Wyoming, USA. Using this test, we are able to provide estimates of the smallest event detectable with the filtered data, and compare the results with conventional techniques, such as stacking. The second test case is a dense, small-aperture 2D seismic array of 95 stations placed within an area of 130 m x 56 m on a landslide deposit in the Northern Apennines, Italy. Numerous microearthquakes have been recorded with this array, whose faint P-phases serve as an ideal data set for testing filtering techniques.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2007 AREP IA55 2008 P
Subjects: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Divisions: 02 - Geodynamics, Geophysics and Tectonics
Journal or Publication Title: Leading Edge
Volume: 27
Page Range: pp. 232-238
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2009 13:04
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:08

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