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Monitoring Coal Seam Gas Depressurisation Using Magnetotellurics


The depressurisation of coal seam gas (CSG) formations causes in situ fluids to migrate through pores and fractures in the Earth. The removal of large volumes of water from coal seams has the potential to affect water table levels and groundwater flow. Magnetotellurics (Previous HitMTNext Hit) is a passive electromagnetic technique that utilises the natural fluctuations of electric and magnetic fields at the Earth's surface to determine the conductivity structure of Earth. The bulk movement of fluids during CSG depressurisation causes a conductivity change in the subsurface and this change can be continuously monitored by deploying an array of Previous HitmagnetotelluricNext Hit instruments. Various techniques will be presented to analyse a Previous HitmagnetotelluricNext Hit CSG monitoring dataset. Firstly, we examine electric phase tensors and quasi-electric phase tensors and compare these with standard Previous HitMTTop responses. These tensors relate the electric fields at survey sites with the electric or magnetic fields at base sites and are almost or entirely free from distortion effects. Secondly, we apply eigenanalysis and singular value decomposition (SVD) methods to the distortion tensor. Both techniques can be used to determine the geologic strike direction for the two-dimensional (2D) case as well as determining if a situation is far from two-dimensional such that 2D modelling is not justified. The results of eigenanalysis and SVD can be displayed on a Mohr diagram, which is a useful way to display a wide range of properties of the distortion matrix. Finally, we link the above analysis to standard 1D and 2D inversions of our dataset. 2D models of resistivity show the spatial pattern of change pre- and post- CSG production. 1D time-lapse inversions show the temporal variations in sub-surface resistivity as a function of time.