Shale is a complex medium composed of clay, other mineral phases, and a pore space. The combined elastic properties of these components control the effective (anisotropic) properties of the composite solid. The factor that is the most dependent on the stress field is the structure of the pore space, which greatly influences the elastic properties of the medium. We have further developed and experimentally validated the porosity deformation approach (PDA) for understanding and modeling stress-dependent changes of the elastic properties of sedimentary rocks. PDA separates the pore space into stiff and compliant parts. The load dependencies of the elastic properties have linear contributions due to the former and exponential contributions due to the latter. We evaluate data sets of elastic properties of two vertical transverse isotropic shale samples measured under uniaxial stress. Then we apply the PDA and our optimization algorithm to the measured data sets to model the stress dependency of the seismic velocities and validate the modeling with experimentally obtained results. We have developed for the first time the constant anellipticity approach (CAN), which estimates the off-axis velocity (in an inclined direction relative to the symmetry axis direction) as a function of stress. Measurements of off-axis velocities are often missing information, and CAN permits us to fill this gap. This provides further background for the reconstruction of the stress dependency of the compliance tensor from acoustic log data.

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