An Overview of Microseismic Imaging of Hydraulic Fracturing Reservoir Descriptions and DynamicsReservoir Descriptions and Dynamics

Kenneth D. Mahrer


This course is a survey of microseismic imaging of hydraulic fracturing. It is designed to give the attendees a rudimentary understanding of this technology based on the science at its foundation, the means and methods by which it is carried out, and the benefits it brings to the users. Since this technology is interdisciplinary, combining geophysics, geology, and geomechanics with well completion technologies, the goal of the course is to give attendees the knowledge and realistic expectations of microseismic imaging of hydraulic fracturing. To this end attendees should expect to become knowledgeable and discerning users, evaluators, and questioners of those vending this technology.

Topics Include:

  • How it began—colliding disciplines: hydraulic fracturing technology-meets-pressure-induced microseismicity
  • Overview of material science, geomechanics, rock mechanics, fracture mechanics, andgeology
  • Technology of hydraulic fracture stimulations
  • In Situ studies of hydraulic fracturing
  • Seismology and microseismology
  • Microseismic Imaging—its how’s and why’s and more than “dots on a page”
  • Case studies, FAQs, and misconceptions
  • Discussion, Q&A

Learning Level


Course Length

1 or 2 Days

Why You Should Attend

From its beginning, microseismic imaging of hydraulic fracturing has created controversy. It typically shows a flow network much more complicated than the traditional paradigm of a single, vertical, planar, elliptical fracture. This course is designed to give an understanding of the foundation of the “ground truth” from microseismic imaging data, an appreciation for the implementation and benefits of the technology, and an awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of the technology.

Who Should Attend

Any oil and gas professional interested in hydraulic fracturing and diagnosis would benefit from this 2-day survey course.


0.8 or 1.6 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1- or 2-day course.


To receive a full refund, all cancellations must be received in writing no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded. Send cancellation requests by email to; by fax to +1.866.460.3032 (US) or +1.972.852.9292 (outside US); or mail to SPE Registration, PO Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083.

For more details, please contact us at


Kenneth D. Mahrer is chief scientist at APEX HiPoint building the full picture of a hydraulic fracture stimulation. His career has included a diversity of positions including a member of the team that monitored, mapped, and characterized the microseismicity induced by the world’s deepest, continuous, high-pressure injection well. Prior to APEX HiPoint, Mahrer was a principle geophysicist in the microseismic mapping group at Weatherford.

Mahrer won two postdoctoral fellowships in fracture mechanics at the University of Sheffield and at Northwestern University. He taught geophysics and geology at the University of New Mexico and worked as a principal geophysicist at Teledyne Geotech.

He was a technical editor for both the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG) and the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He wrote two columns for the SEG journal The Leading Edge, “The Writer’s Block” on improving technical writing and “Bright Spots” summarizing technical articles appearing in the SEG journal Geophysics. In addition to teaching courses on microseismic imaging of hydraulic fracturing, Mahrer teaches technical writing training courses in universities and companies. Mahrer holds BS and MS degrees in physics and a PhD in geophysics from Stanford University.