07 Dec 2020

07 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Investigation of the Effects of Surrounding Media on the Distributed Acoustic Sensing of Helically-Wound Fiber-Optic Cable with Application to the New Afton Deposit, British Columbia

Sepidehalsadat Hendi1, Mostafa Gorjian1, Gilles Bellefleur2, Christopher D. Hawkes3, and Don White2 Sepidehalsadat Hendi et al.
  • 1Geological Engineering, Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2Geological Survey of Canada, 601 Booth St., Ottawa, ON, Canada
  • 3Geological Engineering, Department of Civil, Geological, and Environmental Engineering, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Abstract. Fiber optic sensing technology has recently become popular for oil and gas, mining, geotechnical engineering, and hydrogeology applications. With a successful track record in many applications, distributed acoustic sensing using straight fiber optic cables has become a method of choice for seismic studies. However, distributed acoustic sensing using straight fiber optic cables is not able to detect off-axial strain, hence a helically wound cable design was introduced to overcome this limitation. The helically wound cable field data in New Afton deposit showed that the quality of the data is tightly dependent on the incident angle (the angle between the ray and normal vector of the surface) and surrounding media.

We introduce a new analytical two-dimensional approach to determine the dynamic strain of a helically wound cable in terms of incident angle in response to elastic plane waves propagating through multilayered media. The method can be used to quickly and efficiently assess the effects of various materials surrounding a helically wound cable. Results from the proposed analytical model are compared with results from numerical modeling obtained with COMSOL Multiphysics, for scenarios corresponding to a real installation of helically wound cable deployed underground at the New Afton mine in British Columbia, Canada. Results from the analytical model are consistent with numerical modeling results.

Our modeling results demonstrate the effects of cement quality, and casing installment on the quality of the helically-wound cable response. Numerical modeling results and field data suggest that, even if reasonably effective coupling achieved, the soft nature of the rocks in these intervals would result in low fiber strains for the HWC. The proposed numerical modeling workflow would be applied for more complicated scenarios (e.g., non-linear material constitutive behaviour, and the effects of pore fluids). The results of this paper can be used as a guideline for analyzing the effect of surrounding media and incident angle on the response of helically wound cable, optimizing the installation of helically wound cable in various conditions, and to validate boundary conditions of 3-D numerical model built for analyzing complex scenarios.

Sepidehalsadat Hendi et al.

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Sepidehalsadat Hendi et al.

Sepidehalsadat Hendi et al.


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Short summary
In this study, the modeling results are used to help understand the performance of a helically-wound fiber (HWC) from a field study at the New Afton mine, British Columbia. We introduce the analytical 2-D model and numerical 3-D model to model strain values in HWC to design more effective HWC system. The DAS dataset at New Afton, interpreted in the context of our modeling, serves as a practical demonstration of the extreme effects of surrounding media and coupling on HWC data quality.