Geomechanical simulation and seismic anisotropy detection have been integrated at the process level to improve identification of open fracture systems. The integration is accomplished via a cross-comparison in the damage domain, which reduces the inherent uncertainties of the individual methods. The geomechanical component can be simple, such as considering how pre-existing fracture networks might respond in a present-day loading arrangement, or can be more complex, addressing the evolution of rock properties during the tectonic evolution. The seismic anisotropy predictions are based on the parallel-fracture-set model. At present, these seismic anisotropy prediction methods represent a limiting factor because they are based on that convenient, but not always applicable, concept of fracture distributions. The geomechanical simulations can, in principle, be used to represent very complex fracture systems, and we hope to overcome the seismic anisotropy limitations to move both components forward. One of the main limitations in the geomechanical method is that it is difficult to identify a suitable validation. In this paper, we outline a potential validation case that has both experimental and field aspects. The link between geomechanics and seismic anisotropy is likely to prove very useful for investigating some types of natural fracture systems.


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