Water saturation effects on elastic wave attenuation in porous rocks with aligned fractures

Kelvin Amalokwu, Angus Best, Jeremy Sothcott, Mark Chapman, Tim Minshull, Xiang-Yang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Elastic wave attenuation anisotropy in porous rocks with aligned fractures is of interest to
seismic remote sensing of the Earth’s structure and to hydrocarbon reservoir characterization
in particular. We investigated the effect of partial water saturation on attenuation in fractured
rocks in the laboratory by conducting ultrasonic pulse-echo measurements on synthetic, silicacemented,
sandstones with aligned penny-shaped voids (fracture density of 0.0298 ± 0.0077),
chosen to simulate the effect of natural fractures in the Earth according to theoretical models.
Our results show, for the first time, contrasting variations in the attenuation (Q−1) of P and S
waves with water saturation in samples with and without fractures. The observed Qs/Qp ratios
are indicative of saturation state and the presence or absence of fractures, offering an important
new possibility for remote fluid detection and characterization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)943-947
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2014

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Fracture and flow; Seismic attenuation; Acoustic properties


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