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Velocities of compressional and shear waves in limestones

Assefa, S., McCann, C. and Sothcott, J. (2003) Velocities of compressional and shear waves in limestones. Geophysical Prospecting, 51 (1). pp. 1-13. ISSN 0016-8025

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2478.2003.00349.x


Carbonate rocks are important hydrocarbon reservoir rocks with complex textures and petrophysical properties (porosity and permeability) mainly resulting from various diagenetic processes (compaction, dissolution, precipitation, cementation, etc.). These complexities make prediction of reservoir characteristics (e.g. porosity and permeability) from their seismic properties very difficult. To explore the relationship between the seismic, petrophysical and geological properties, ultrasonic compressional- and shear-wave velocity measurements were made under a simulated in situ condition of pressure (50 MPa hydrostatic effective pressure) at frequencies of approximately 0.85 MHz and 0.7 MHz, respectively, using a pulse-echo method. The measurements were made both in vacuum-dry and fully saturated conditions in oolitic limestones of the Great Oolite Formation of southern England. Some of the rocks were fully saturated with oil. The acoustic measurements were supplemented by porosity and permeability measurements, petrological and pore geometry studies of resin-impregnated polished thin sections, X-ray diffraction analyses and scanning electron microscope studies to investigate submicroscopic textures and micropores. It is shown that the compressional- and shear-wave velocities (V-p and V-s, respectively) decrease with increasing porosity and that V-p decreases approximately twice as fast as V-s. The systematic differences in pore structures (e.g. the aspect ratio) of the limestones produce large residuals in the velocity versus porosity relationship. It is demonstrated that the velocity versus porosity relationship can be improved by removing the pore-structure-dependent variations from the residuals. The introduction of water into the pore space decreases the shear moduli of the rocks by about 2 GPa, suggesting that there exists a fluid/matrix interaction at grain contacts, which reduces the rigidity. The predicted Biot-Gassmann velocity values are greater than the measured velocity values due to the rock-fluid interaction. This is not accounted for in the Biot-Gassmann velocity models and velocity dispersion due to a local flow mechanism. The velocities predicted by the Raymer and time-average relationships overestimated the measured velocities even more than the Biot model.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of Archaeology, Geography and Environmental Science
ID Code:3214
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