Microseismic event detection in large heterogeneous velocity models using Bayesian multimodal nested sampling

Saptarshi Das, Mike Hobson, Farhan Feroz, Xi Chen, Suhas Phadke, Jeroen Goudswaard, Detlef Hohl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


In passive seismic and microseismic monitoring, identifying and characterizing events in a strong noisy background is a challenging task. Most of the established methods for geophysical inversion are likely to yield many false event detections. The most advanced of these schemes require thousands of computationally demanding forward elastic-wave propagation simulations. Here we train and use an ensemble of Gaussian process surrogate meta-models, or proxy emulators, to accelerate the generation of accurate template seismograms from random microseismic event locations. In the presence of multiple microseismic events occurring at different spatial locations with arbitrary amplitude and origin time, and in the presence of noise, an inference algorithm needs to navigate an objective function or likelihood landscape of highly complex shape, perhaps with multiple modes and narrow curving degeneracies. This is a challenging computational task even for state-of-the-art Bayesian sampling algorithms. In this paper, we propose a novel method for detecting multiple microseismic events in a strong noise background using Bayesian inference, in particular, the Multimodal Nested Sampling (MultiNest) algorithm. The method not only provides the posterior samples for the 5D spatio-temporal-amplitude inference for the real microseismic events, by inverting the seismic traces in multiple surface receivers, but also computes the Bayesian evidence or the marginal likelihood that permits hypothesis testing for discriminating true vs. false event detection.
Original languageEnglish
JournalData-Centric Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2021


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