Abstract

Theoretically and experimentally, the shear-wave velocity of a porous rock has been shown to be less sensitive to fluid saturants than the compressional wave velocity. Thus, observation of the ratio of the seismic velocities for waves which traverse a changing or laterally varying zone of undersaturation or gas saturation could produce an observable anomaly which is independent of the regional variation in compressional wave velocity.One source of shear-wave data in reflection seismic prospecting is mode conversion of P waves to shear waves in marine areas of high water bottom P-wave velocity. A relatively simple interpretative technique, based on amplitude variation as a function of the angle of incidence, is a possible discriminant between shear and multiple compressional arrivals, and data for a real case are shown. A normal moveout velocity analysis, carefully coupled with this offset discriminant, leads to the construction of a shear-wave reflection section which can then be correlated with the usual compressional wave section.Once such a section has been constructed, the variation in the ratio of the seismic velocities can be mapped, and potentially anomalous subsurface regions observed.

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