Current methodologies to characterize fractures at the reservoir scale have serious limitations in spatial resolution. Here, we propose to estimate both the spatial distribution and physical properties of fractures using full waveform inversion (FWI) of multicomponent surface seismic data. An effective orthorhombic medium with five clusters of vertical fractures distributed in a checkboard fashion is used to test the algorithm. To better understand the inversion results, we analyze the FWI radiation patterns of the fracture weaknesses. A shape regularization term is added to the objective function to improve the inversion for the horizontal weakness, which is otherwise poorly constrained. Alternatively, a simplified model of penny-shaped cracks is used to reduce the nonuniqueness in the inverted weaknesses and achieve a faster convergence.


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