Ultrasonic equipment has been developed to measure shear-wave velocities in small rock samples at hydrostatic pressures up to 2400 psi. Under certain optimum conditions dilatational wave velocities can also be determined. The method employs a beam of ultrasonic energy passing through a liquid in which a quarter-inch-thick parallel-sided sample of rock is rotated. From the laws of classical optics for the refraction and reflection of waves at boundaries between dissimilar media and the known velocity of sound in the liquid, the velocities in the sample may be calculated from a record of ultrasonic energy transmitted through the sample as a function of angle between the sample and the ultrasonic beam. Results obtained with this apparatus from samples of materials for which the velocity of waves has been published show good agreement with the latter. The variation of the velocity of shear waves in dry rocks with applied hydrostatic pressures up to 2400 psi have been measured for 7 sandstones, a chalk, and a limestone. The shear-wave velocities were found to increase with an increase of the applied pressure. For 5 of the sandstones the increase in velocity at high pressures approached the one-sixth power of the applied hydrostatic pressure predicted theoretically for a sphere pack model.

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