ABSTRACT

Single-well imaging has been a technique increasingly used in the detection of near-borehole geologic structures. The azimuth of a geologic structure, however, cannot be uniquely determined with acoustic signals recorded in the borehole alone, due to the azimuth ambiguity existing in current imaging techniques. We eliminated such ambiguity by revealing the relevant acoustic principle underlying the P-wave reflection behavior. When a P-wave excited by a transducer in the logging tool impinges upon a planar interface, the P-wave reflection coefficient (RC) of the displacement is opposite in sign to that of the normal stress or fluid pressure, regardless of the incident angle and the parameters of the media on the two sides. The derived relation about signs of RCs was validated by finite-difference solutions for reflected waves from a near-borehole plane fault. With this newly discovered reflection principle, one can eliminate the azimuth ambiguity of any interface outside a borehole by checking if the waveforms of pressure and the displacement component are both changed in polarity after reflection. Furthermore, because the pressure and displacement are observable quantities and the waveform of the acoustic source is known in acoustic logging, it is convenient to implement the data acquisition for this technique, which is a major advantage over other techniques. We expounded and exemplified our new technique by numerical simulation.

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