There is an increasing need to characterize fractured rock systems and to monitor the movement of fluids in these systems. Fractured rock aquifers are increasingly exploited for water resources, and are subject to contamination from industrial activities at the Earth's surface. Deep rock repositories of hazardous waste must be carefully characterized in terms of fracture transport characteristics. More recently, there has been a surge in technologies designed to increase permeability of shale reservoirs by creating fractures to promote fluid removal. However, fractured rock systems present unique challenges for characterization and monitoring technologies. Fracturing typically generates highly heterogeneous and anisotropic systems, making the evaluation of the distribution of physical properties from sparse subsurface measurements particularly problematic. Geophysical imaging technologies are increasingly applied in an effort to overcome the limitations of sparsely located direct observations of subsurface properties. However, the application of geophysical technologies to fractured rock systems presents challenges for imaging as appropriate regularization model constraints for complex, heterogeneous systems are hard to define without additional subsurface information.
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