Abstract

To improve quantitative interpretation of seismic data, we analyze the effect of fluid substitution in a porous and fractured medium on elastic properties and reflection coefficients. This analysis uses closed-form expressions suitable for fluid substitution in transversely isotropic media with a horizontal symmetry axis (HTI). For the HTI medium, the effect of changing porosity and water saturation on (1) P-wave moduli, (2) horizontal and vertical velocities, (3) anisotropic parameters, and (4) reflection coefficients are examined. The effects of fracture density on these four parameters are also studied. For the model used in this study, a 35% increase in porosity lowers the value of P-wave moduli by maximum of 45%. Consistent with the reduction in P-wave moduli, P-wave velocities also decrease by maximum of 17% with a similar increment in porosity. The reduction is always larger for the horizontal P-wave modulus than for the vertical one and is nearly independent of fracture density. The magnitude of the anisotropic parameters of the fractured medium also changes with increased porosity depending on the changes in the value of P-wave moduli. The reflection coefficients at an interface of the fractured medium with an isotropic medium change in accordance with the above observations and lead to an increase in anisotropic amplitude variation with offset (AVO) gradient with porosity. Additionally, we observe a maximum increase in P-wave modulus and velocity by 30% and 8%, respectively, with a 100% increase in water saturation. Water saturation also changes the anisotropic parameters and reflection coefficients. Increase in water saturation considerably increases the magnitude of the anisotropic AVO gradient irrespective of fracture density. From this study, we conclude that porosity and water saturation have a significant impact on the four studied parameters and the impacts are seismically detectable.

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