Abstract

We investigate the effects of changes in rock and fluid properties on amplitude-variation-with-offset (AVO) responses. In the slope-intercept domain, reflections from wet sands and shales fall on or near a trend that we call the fluid line. Reflections from the top of sands containing gas or light hydrocarbons fall on a trend approximately parallel to the fluid line; reflections from the base of gas sands fall on a parallel trend on the opposing side of the fluid line. The polarity standard of the seismic data dictates whether these reflections from the top of hydrocarbon-bearing sands are below or above the fluid line. Typically, rock properties of sands and shales differ, and therefore reflections from sand/shale interfaces are also displaced from the fluid line. The distance of these trends from the fluid line depends upon the contrast of the ratio of P-wave velocity VP and S-wave velocity VS. This ratio is a function of pore-fluid compressibility and implies that distance from the fluid line increases with increasing compressibility. Reflections from wet sands are closer to the fluid line than hydrocarbon-related reflections. Porosity changes affect acoustic impedance but do not significantly impact the VP/VS contrast. As a result, porosity changes move the AVO response along trends approximately parallel to the fluid line. These observations are useful for interpreting AVO anomalies in terms of fluids, lithology, and porosity.

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