February 15, 2024
Conference Paper

Autonomous Inversion of In Situ Deformation Measurement Data for Injection-Induced Stress Change


Geologic carbon storage (GCS) is likely to play a key part of the global effort to dramatically reduce CO2 emissions and perhaps even reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations through carbon negative operations. A critical part of effort to commercialize and widely deploy this technology is developing the capability to rapidly assimilate real-time monitoring data into a form that will enable site operators to make decisions to manage the safe and efficient operations. Two of the risks associate with GCS are the risk of inducing fractures in the sealing formations that can create leakage pathways and the risk of inducing earthquakes of sufficient magnitude to cause public concern, property damage, or safety risks. To properly manage these risks the site operator needs to know the initial state of stress, the change in stress induced by injection, and the relationship between operational parameters such as injection rate and pressure and the change in stress. Current methods of estimating the change in stress require choosing the type of constitutive model and the model parameters based on core, log, and geophysical data during the characterization phase, with little feedback from operational observations to validate or refine these choices. These characterization methods interrogate the geologic formations using length scales, loading rates or magnitudes that are quite different from those encountered by the actual storage system. It is shown that errors in the assumed constitutive response, even when informed by laboratory tests on core samples, are likely to be common, large, and underestimate the magnitude of stress change caused by injection. Recent advances in borehole-based strain instruments and borehole and surface-based tilt and displacement instruments have now enabled monitoring of the deformation of the storage system throughout its operational lifespan. This data can enable validation and refinement of the knowledge of the geomechanical properties and state of the system, but brings with it a challenge to transform the raw data into actionable knowledge. We demonstrate a method that uses automatic differentiation and a finite-element based geomechanical model perform a gradient-based deterministic inversion of geomechanical monitoring data. This approach allows autonomous integration of the instrument data without the need for time consuming manual interpretation and selection of updated model parameters. Furthermore, only isotropic linear elasticity is considered in this paper, the approach presented is very flexible as to what type of geomechanical constitutive response can be used. The approach is easily adaptable to nonlinear physics-based constitutive models to account for common rock behaviors such as creep and plasticity. The approach also enables training of machine learning-based constitutive models by allowing back propagation of errors through the finite element calculations. This enables strongly enforcing known physics, such as conservation of momentum and continuity, while allowing data-driven models to learn the truly unknown physics such as the constitutive or petrophysical responses.

Published: February 15, 2024


Burghardt J.A., A.M. Tartakovsky, K. Xu, and E. Darve. 2023. Autonomous Inversion of In Situ Deformation Measurement Data for Injection-Induced Stress Change. In Proceedings of the 57th U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, June 25-28, 2023, Atlanta, Georgia, Paper No. ARMA-2023-0773. Alexandria, Virginia:American Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA). PNNL-SA-182979. doi:10.56952/ARMA-2023-0773

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