Directional sources and distributed acoustic sensing deployments for near-surface characterization

Yarin Abukrat*, Pavel Sinitsyn, Moshe Reshef, Ariel Lellouch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Active near-surface surveys using distributed acoustic sensing (DAS) have been practically limited to 2D inline acquisitions followed by Rayleigh-wave dispersion analysis. In this study, we analyze different acquisition setups and the subsurface properties that can be estimated from them. First, we find a surface survey dedicated to Love-wave acquisition. We use a horizontal source and common-receiver sorting of the DAS data for a pure Love-wave velocity dispersion analysis yielding an S-wave velocity profile. Common-receiver sorting has the added benefit of practically eliminating the effect of the gauge length. Next, downhole DAS is used in a vertical seismic profile-type survey to recover a 1D P-wave velocity through checkshot analysis. Finally, we find that the horizontal portion of a fiber deployed in a deviated borehole records high-frequency data from surface sources. We use first arrivals for diving-wave tomography, yielding a 2D P-wave velocity model above and below the fiber. We validate the inversion results of all acquisitions through a comparison with geophone-derived velocity models. We conclude that source orientation plays a crucial role and should be considered during survey planning in conjunction with DAS directivity. As anticipated, fiber coupling can strongly influence the signal-to-noise ratio and needs to be adequately planned. In vertical boreholes, infilling offers a viable solution for deployment in existing wells. For deviated boreholes, installation inside the casing yields suboptimal coupling, but more adequate deployment protocols may yield high-frequency data useful for velocity model building and imaging. From a practical point of view, the acquisitions that we describe are difficult to justify due to their operational costs and limitations. Nonetheless, they highlight the potential of DAS in going beyond traditional analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)WC121-WC131
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023


  • acquisition
  • distributed acoustic sensors
  • near surface
  • surface wave
  • velocity analysis


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