It gives me great pleasure to welcome Will Pettitt to the role of General Manager and Doug Stearley to the position of Financial Manager at Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. Their arrival is precipitated by the fact that John Markham, Itasca's longtime Executive Officer, will officially retire June 30 of this year. John's distinguished, stalwart record of service to this company is best illustrated by the fact that it has taken Will, Doug, and myself to replace him. He leaves a legacy we will all strive to live up to.

— Loren Lorig, Chief Executive Officer


Enhanced Microseimic Analysis Hydraulic Fracturing

ASC (Itasca's UK office) has implemented advanced post-processing and reporting tools to yield a greater understanding of hydraulic fracturing. Monitoring petroleum reservoir development using passive seismics is a technology that provides feedback to engineers and project stakeholders. Microseismic (MS) monitoring provides crucial information to map the position, growth and effectiveness of hydrofracture stimulation to assess completion objectives, map extraction and injection paths, treatment history and fluid migration. MS source characteristics and clustering is used to assess connected zones, identify mobilized structures, and gain information on fracture orientation, spacing, persistence and damage accumulation.

Microseismic locations from hydrofracturing in a vertical treatment well.

Relative location techniques provide a means to increase location efficiency and thus provide greater information on the fracture network. Sophisticated methods and analysis developed during research and innovative techniques at the cutting-edge of commercial microseismic applications are being developed. Using the continuous microseismic record for investigating the fracture network growth and mechanics of hydrofracture data (through investigating the amplitude, frequency and energy characteristics) is a novel approach pioneered by ASC.

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The pre-release of Enhanced Visualization (EV) for PFC3D is available now. Try the online feature tour or view this series of movies if you'd like to know more about this dynamic enhancement to PFC3D.

Screen shot of the pre-release version of EV; click here or on the image to enlarge in a separate window

InSite v2.15 has now been released. This version incorporates, amongst other improvements, new tools for visualization and interpretation of seismic clusters and the ability to perform manual velocity calibration. The latest developments and functionalities are also incorporated into the downloadable demo version of InSite.

Update Alert:
Current Versions
updated since
March 1, 2010:

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Itasca Houston Adds New Engineer

Itasca would like to announce and welcome the addition of David Martinez to the Itasca Houston office. Mr. Martinez is a petroleum engineer with experience in rock mechanics applications to drilling and stimulation of oil reservoirs. He has experience in assessing in-situ geomechanical models based on the analysis of borehole-stability features, pore-pressure prediction and stress-field constraining. Other areas of expertise include stress-contrast determination, hydraulic fracture containment, borehole stability, fault sealing and stress path estimation due to injection/depletion of the reservoir. As Itasca continues to expand the geomechanics services it provides the petroleum industry, Mr. Martinez will be a valuable addition.

ARMA 2010

Matt Pierce of Itasca Consulting Group, Inc. (Minneapolis) will be giving an invited presenation at the ARMA Symposium (aka the 44th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium and the 5th U.S.-Canada Symposium) on Fracture Network Engineering. The conference is a technology exchange program, consistent with the ARMA mission to stimulate discussion and communication; the event will take place June 27-30, 2010, in Salt Lake City. In addition to Mr. Pierce's talk, Marisela Sanchez of Itasca Houston will be co-chairing a session on Induced Seismicity, and Neal Nagel of Itasca Houston will co-chair a session on Coupled Processes. Papers by Itascans Ivan Gil, Huanchun Hzu, Loren Lorig, Will Pettitt, and Juan Reyes-Montes have been included in the proceedings. And, lastly, Itasca co-founder Charles Fairhurst will provide a special presentation entitled "Looking Forward" on the first full day of presentations.


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The annual Itasca Software introductory training courses are complete. From mid-April to mid-May, 40 people received training on five Itasca codes. Demand for FLAC training in particular was so high that a second training course has been scheduled for the Fall. As with other courses, this is a first-come, first-served opportunity, so sign up now if you are interested. The dates for the course are :

   October 13-15, 2010

Full course descriptions, registration, and price information are available online.

The participants of the FLAC3D training course with instructors Ed Dzik, Christine Detournay, and Reza Taghavi on the rooftop of Itasca Consulting Group's office building.

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2nd FLAC/DEM Symposium Update

Early Bird Discount
A discount of 10% is available for all full registrations received between now and November 12, 2010. Take advantage of this special rate and sign up now. Information on registration options, including those for students, non-attending authors, and guests, is available on the 2nd FLAC/DEM Symposium site.

Online Registration
We are pleased to announce that we have established an online registration process. The registration page on the syposium web site provides a simple, safe way for you to register now for the symposium.

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Staff Publications

Han, Y, and Hart, R. “Seismic Analysis of the Reservoir-earth Dam-pore fluid System Using an Integrated Numerical Approach.” The fifth international conference on Recent Advances in Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering and Soil Dynamics and Symposium in honor of Professor I.M. Idriss, San Diego, CA. May 24-29, 2010.

Kwok, C.-Y., and M. D. Bolton. (2010) "DEM Simulations of Thermally Activated Creep in Soils," Géotechnique, 60(6), 425-433.

Sharma, R.-H., Konietzky, H., Kosugi, Ken’ichirou. (2010)"Numerical analysis of soil pipe effects on hillslope water dynamics," Acta Geotechnica, Springer, 5: 33-42.

Walter, K., Konietzky, H., Herbst, M. (2009) "Three dimensional discrete element modelling to investigate damage and fracture development at the grain size level," Proc. 2nd Int. Conf. on Computational Methods in Tunneling, Bochum, Aedificatio Publishers, Vol. 1: 215-222.

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