Towards joint inversion of seismic and muon tomography data for reservoir monitoring

Hydrocarbon production methods extract mass from the subsurface and consequently change the density distribution. Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) uses steam to enhance the heavy oil in the subsurface which mobilizes it and allows it to be pumped to the surface. Today, we do not know very accurately, where oil is produced and where steam is moving in the subsurface. This leads to waste of steam and inefficient production. This project proposes a new method to monitor the density distribution continuously through muon tomography, which uses sensors placed in boreholes and measures the incoming muons, which image the density distribution. Together with seismic imaging, we will attempt a joint inversion to exploit the advantages of both methods, the innovative muon tomography and the established 4D seismic method. This method could optimize production efficiency and mitigate environmental risks.

Faculty Supervisor:

Alexander Braun


Sara Pieczonka


Ideon Technologies




Professional, scientific and technical services


Queen's University



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