Converted-wave amplitude versus offset (AVO) behavior may be fit with a cubic relationship between reflection coefficient and ray parameter. Attributes extracted using this form can be directly related to elastic parameters with low-contrast or high-contrast approximations to the Zoeppritz equations. The high-contrast approximation has the advantage of greater accuracy; the low-contrast approximation is analytically simpler.

The two coefficients of the low-contrast approximation are a function of the average ratio of compressional-to-shear-wave velocity (α/β) and the fractional changes in S-wave velocity and density (Δβ/β and Δρ/ρ). Because of its simplicity, the low-contrast approximation is subject to errors, particularly for large positive contrasts in P-wave velocity associated with negative contrasts in S-wave velocity. However, for incidence angles up to 40° and models confined to |Δβ/β| < 0.25, the errors in both coefficients are relatively small.

Converted-wave AVO crossplotting of the coefficients of the low-contrast approximation is a useful interpretation technique. The background trend in this case has a negative slope and an intercept proportional to the α/β ratio and the fractional change in S-wave velocity. For constant α/β ratio, an attribute trace formed by the weighted sum of the coefficients of the low-contrast approximation provides useful estimates of the fractional change in S-wave velocity and density. Using synthetic examples, we investigate the sensitivity of these parameters to random noise.

Integrated P-wave and converted-wave analysis may improve estimation of rock properties by combining extracted attributes to yield fractional contrasts in P-wave and S-wave velocities and density. Together, these parameters may provide improved direct hydrocarbon indication and can potentially be used to identify anomalies caused by low gas saturations.

You do not currently have access to this article.