A laboratory study of seismic velocity and attenuation anisotropy in near-surface sedimentary rocks

Best, A.I.; Sothcott, J.; McCann, C.. 2007 A laboratory study of seismic velocity and attenuation anisotropy in near-surface sedimentary rocks. Geophysical Prospecting, 55 (5). 609-625. 10.1111/j.1365-2478.2007.00642.x

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The laboratory ultrasonic pulse-echo method was used to collect accurate P- and S-wave velocity (±0.3%) and attenuation (±10%) data at differential pressures of 5–50 MPa on water-saturated core samples of sandstone, limestone and siltstone that were cut parallel and perpendicular to the vertical borehole axis. The results, when expressed in terms of the P- and S-wave velocity and attenuation anisotropy parameters for weakly transversely isotropic media (ε, γ , εQ, γ Q) show complex variations with pressure and lithology. In general, attenuation anisotropy is stronger and more sensitive to pressure changes than velocity anisotropy, regardless of lithology. Anisotropy is greatest (over 20% for velocity, over 70% for attenuation) in rocks with visible clay/organic matter laminations in hand specimens. Pressure sensitivities are attributed to the opening of microcracks with decreasing pressure. Changes in magnitude of velocity and attenuation anisotropy with effective pressure show similar trends, although they can show different signs (positive or negative values of ε, εQ, γ , γ Q). We conclude that attenuation anisotropy in particular could prove useful to seismic monitoring of reservoir pressure changes if frequency-dependent effects can be quantified and modelled.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1111/j.1365-2478.2007.00642.x
ISSN: 0016-8025
Date made live: 21 Nov 2007 +0 (UTC)

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