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Numerical simulation and development of data inversion in borehole ultrasonic imaging

V. Renaud
C. Balland
Thierry Verdel
Organization: Ecole des Mines de Nancy
Department: Ecole d'ingénieur
Journal / Anthology

Journal of Applied Geophysics
Year: 2011
Volume: 73
Issue: 4
Page range: 357-367

The major function of underground nuclear waste disposal is to avoid the migration of radionucleides towards the biosphere during their active period. This function can be deteriorated by the EDZ (excavated damaged zone) around the excavation. The EDZ analysis is therefore crucial in the performance assessment of the storage. The paper deals with the determination of the EDZ around a nuclear waste storage cavity using borehole ultrasonic imaging (azimuthal tomography). Indeed, before processing experimental data obtained with this tool, it is necessary to establish that data can be satisfactorily inverted. This analysis is based on a method that is able to sound and image the rock mass velocity field. The velocity field is numerically simulated (3D geomechanical modeling) based on an assumption on the relationship between stress and velocity fields. In order to evaluate a radial velocity profile starting from inter-sensor distance and their corresponding traveltimes, different ray tracing algorithms are tested using synthetic data. These tests led to a simple and fast approach (implemented in a Mathematica package) to process a large quantity of data.