Fractures greatly increase the difficulty of oil and gas exploration and development in reservoirs consisting of interlayered carbonates and shales and increase the uncertainty of highly efficient development. The presence of fractures or layered media is also widely known to affect the elastic properties of rocks. The combined effects of fractures and layered media are still unknown. We have investigated the effects of fracture structure on wave propagation in interlayered carbonate and shale rocks using physical models based on wave theory and the similarity principle. We have designed and built two sets of layered physical models with randomly embedded predesigned vertically aligned fractures according to the control variate principle. We have measured the P- and S-wave velocities and attenuation and analyzed the effects of fracture porosity and aspect ratio (AR) on velocity, attenuation, and power spectral dimension of the P- and S-waves. The experimental results indicated that under conditions of low porosity (<1.5%), Han’s empirical velocity-porosity relations and Wang’s attenuation-porosity relation combined with Wyllie’s time-average model are a good prediction for layered physical models with randomly embedded fractures. When the porosity is constant, the effect of different ARs on elastic wave properties can be described by a power law function. We have calculated the power spectrum fractal dimension D of the transmitted signal in the frequency domain, which can supplement the S-wave splitting method for estimating the degree of anisotropy. The simple power law relation between the power spectrum fractal dimension of the P-waveform and fracture density suggests the possible use of P-waves for discriminating fracture density. The high precision and low error of this processing method give new ideas for rock anisotropy evaluation and fracture density prediction when only P-wave data are available.

You do not currently have access to this article.