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  • Product Sheet: Reservoir Compartmentalisation


Reservoir compartmentalisation (Source: TRE)



Component products


Surface Motion

  • N/A



  • Subsidence monitoring - Land motion relating to fault lines or other causes
  • Subsidence monitoring – Reservoir management

Geo-information requirements

  •  Terrain information
  • Surface and ground motion


Reservoir compartmentalisation, fluid migration in the subsurface and communication between producing zones can be identified by interpreting surface movement above a producing reservoir. Maps of surface movement are produced by processing SAR imagery with advanced interferometric techniques. Both historically acquired SAR datasets and actively tasked imagery can be processed to determine ground movement over an area of interest. Surface movement information is typically visualised using ground movement maps or in GIS systems.

By determining the temporal changes in the surface movement profile, reservoir compartmentalisation can be understood and its effect on drawdown efficiency determined.

Surface movement is identified for the entire period of SAR acquisitions and displacement measurements are provided along the satellite’s line-of-sight. With the availability of both ascending and descending geometry SAR datasets, movement information is also provided along the vertical and horizontal directions.

Known restrictions / limitations

  • Accuracy and density of measurements dependent on a number of factors, including the wavelength of SAR sensor and repeat time of the satellite
  • North-south movement cannot be identified
  • Processing for high-accuracy ground movement can be performed only after acquiring a minimum number of SAR images (approximately 15-20 SAR images with same geometry)
  • No surface movement information achievable over water bodies
  • Density of measurement points identified over vegetated / swampy areas decreases
  • Surface movement is a combination of all active layer deformation contributions

Lifecycle stage and demand












  • Baseline mapping of natural ground movement pre-production phase and ground movement related to production activities for improved reservoir management.
  • Analyses of surface movement can provide information on subsurface features including compartmentalisation, fault reactivation, fluid dynamics, etc.

Geographic coverage and demand

Demand and coverage is globally onshore or on offshore platforms.


OTM:002 Tracking fluid migration in the subsurface
OTM:003 Subsidence from reservoir draw-down
OTM:004 Regulatory verification relating to injection of fracking fluids
OTM:006 Technical verification relation to injection of fracking fluids
OTM:007 Identify communication between producing zones
OTM:020 Tracking groundwater tables


HC:3303 Monitoring effectiveness of steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations
HC:4207 Understanding and predicting changes in hydrological processes
HC:4208 Identification of groundwater table to reduce potential issues during seismic activity


Input data sources

Radar: VHR2, HR1, HR2

Spatial resolution and coverage

Spatial resolution: 20x5 m / 3x3 m / 1x1m pixel size

Coverage: 250x150 km / 100x100 km / 40x40 km / 30x50 km /  10x10 km

Minimum Mapping Unit (MMU)

Related to pixel size of satellite imagery used. One ground measurement point can be identified for each pixel in satellite image.

Accuracy / constraints

Thematic accuracy: Ground movement can be determined to millimetre accuracy (with a sufficient number of SAR images)

Spatial accuracy: In ideal conditions, one measurement point can be identified in each SAR image pixel

Accuracy assessment approach & quality control measures

MonteCarlo statistical approach

Frequency / timeliness

Observation frequency: Constrained by satellite repeat cycle, typically 4-24 days. Appropriate satellites can be chosen in terms of spatial and temporal resolution.

Timeliness of delivery: Depends on the requirements of the Client and processing required.


Basic analysis can be performed quickly (24-48 hours) whilst integrated products require detailed analysis (2 weeks).

Delivery / output format

Data type:

  • Vector formats
  • Raster formats (depending on client requirements)

File format:

  • Geotiff or shapefile (standard - any other OGC standard file formats)

 Download Product Sheet


Lead Author:TRE
Peer Reviewer:Hatfield Consultants


Alastair Belson

Document Title:

Reservoir Compartmentalisation

# of Pages:



Internal – Project consortium and science partners


External – ESA



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