Abstract

Often, the loss mechanisms responsible for seismic attenuation are unclear and controversial. We used partially frozen brine as a solid-liquid coexistence system to investigate attenuation phenomena. Ultrasonic wave-transmission measurements on an ice-brine coexisting system were conducted to examine the influence of unfrozen brine in the pore microstructure on ultrasonic waves. We observed the variations of a 150–1000 kHz wave transmitted through a liquid system to a solid-liquid coexistence system, changing its temperature from 20°C to –15°C. We quantitatively estimated attenuation in a frequency range of 350600kHz by considering different distances between the source and receiver transducers. We also estimated the total amount of frozen brine at each temperature by using the pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) technique and related those results to attenuation results. The waveform analyses indicate that ultrasonic attenuation in an ice-brine coexisting system reaches its peak at 3°C, at which the ratio of the liquid phase to the total volume in an ice-brine coexisting system is maximal. Finally, we obtained a highly positive correlation between the attenuation of ultrasonic waves and the total amount of unfrozen brine. Thus, laboratory experiments demonstrate that ultrasonic waves within this frequency range are affected significantly by the existence of unfrozen brine in the pore microstructure.

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