Predicting deformation-driven permeability changes in the subsurface requires knowledge of the character and distribution of dilatant and compactant rock damage. Seismic reflection data can be used to gain insight into aspects of the deformation such as the geometry of seismically resolvable faults and bulk material property distributions. However, interpretations of material properties from seismic data are non-unique. This paper addresses the use of established seismic techniques to identify the signatures of fault-associated open fractures, modified and improved by a new linked geomechanics-seismic approach. The paper also addresses how each of stress state and open fractures affect seismic anisotropy. The geomechanics-seismic approach is demonstrated using a model of a North Sea hydrocarbon field in which a series of potential fracture arrays are assumed and the fracture apertures are modified to reflect the geomechanically generated stress states. Seismic anisotropy predictions based on these modified fracture distributions are then compared with a pre-existing seismic anisotropy interpretation to determine the best match. Using geomechanical simulation to support a seismic anisotropy-based method produces a higher-confidence result and can lead to better prediction of altered permeabilities in faulted regions. Because of the geomechanical focus of this Special Publication, the background for seismic identification of faults and inter-fault damage is also outlined, including a review of current seismic practice. © The Geological Society of London 2007.