Most subsurface formations of value to exploration contain a heterogeneous fluid-filled pore space, where local fluid-pressure effects can significantly change the velocities of passing seismic waves. To better understand the effect of these local pressure gradients on borehole wave propagation, we combined Chapman’s squirt-flow model with Biot’s poroelastic theory. We applied the unified theory to a slow and fast formation with permeable borehole walls containing different quantities of compliant pores. These results are compared with those for a formation with no soft pores. The discrete wavenumber summation method with a monopole point source generates the wavefields consisting of the P-, S-, leaky-P, Stoneley, and pseudo-Rayleigh waves. The resulting synthetic wave modes are processed using a weighted spectral semblance (WSS) algorithm. We found that the resulting WSS dispersion curves closely matched the analytical expressions for the formation compressional velocity and solutions to the period equation for dispersion for the P-wave, Stoneley-wave, and pseudo-Rayleigh wave phase velocities in the slow and fast formations. The WSS applied to the S-wave part of the waveforms, however, did not correlate as well with its respective analytical expression for formation S-wave velocity, most likely due to interference of the pseudo-Rayleigh wave. To separate changes in formation P- and S-wave velocities versus fluid-flow effects on the Stoneley-wave mode, we computed the slow-P wave dispersion for the same formations. We found that fluid-saturated soft pores significantly affected the P- and S-wave effective formation velocities, whereas the slow-P wave velocity was rather insensitive to the compliant pores. Thus, the large phase-velocity effect on the Stoneley wave mode was mainly due to changes in effective formation P- and S-wave velocities and not to additional fluid mobility.

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