Abstract

We have developed a recipe for using closed-form expressions of effective-medium models to predict velocities in unconsolidated sandstones. The commonly used Hertz-Mindlin effective-medium model for granular media often predicts elastic wave velocities that are higher, and VPVS ratios that are lower, than those observed in laboratory and well log measurements in unconsolidated sediments. We use the extended Walton model, which introduces a parameter α to represent the fraction of grain contacts that are perfectly adhered. Using the extended Walton model with α ranging from 0.3 to 1, we obtain new empirical relations between the coordination number (C), porosity, and pressure for P- and S-wave velocities by inverting dynamic measurements on dry, unconsolidated sands. We propose using the extended Walton model (α=0.6) along with these new C-porosity and C-pressure relations to study the mechanical compaction of unconsolidated sandstones. The model has been tested on two experimental data sets. It provides a reasonable fit to observed P- and S-wave velocities and specifically improves shear-wave predictions.

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