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Estimation of Fracture Compliance From Attenuation and Velocity Analysis of Full‐Waveform Sonic Log Data

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Barbosa Nicolás D., Caspari Eva, Rubino J. Germán, Greenwood Andrew, Baron Ludovic, Holliger Klaus,
Project Exploration and characterization of deep underground reservoirs
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Volume (Issue) 124(3)
Page(s) 2738 - 2761
Title of proceedings Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
DOI 10.1029/2018jb016507

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


In fractured rocks, the amplitudes of propagating seismic waves decay due to various mechanisms, such as geometrical spreading, solid friction, displacement of pore fluid relative to the solid frame, and transmission losses due to energy conversion to reflected and transmitted waves at the fracture interfaces. In this work, we characterize the mechanical properties of individual fractures from P wave velocity changes and transmission losses inferred from static full-waveform sonic log data. The methodology is validated using synthetic full-waveform sonic logs and applied to data acquired in a borehole penetrating multiple fractures embedded in a granodioritic rock. To extract the transmission losses from attenuation estimates, we remove the contributions associated with other loss mechanisms. The geometrical spreading correction is inferred from a joint analysis of numerical simulations that emulate the borehole environment and the redundancy of attenuation contributions other than geometrical spreading in multiple acquisitions with different source-receiver spacing configurations. The intrinsic background attenuation is estimated from measurements acquired in the intact zones. In the fractured zones, the variations with respect to the background attenuation are attributed to transmission losses. Once we have estimated the transmission losses associated with a given fracture, we compute the transmission coefficient, which, on the basis of the linear slip theory, can then be related to the mechanical normal compliance of the fracture. Our results indicate that the estimated mechanical normal compliance ranges from 1 × 10−13 to 1 × 10−12 m/Pa, which, for the size of the considered fractures, is consistent with the experimental evidence available.