Skip to Main Content

Rock-physics transforms and scale of investigation

Jack Dvorkin and Uri Wollner
Rock-physics transforms and scale of investigation
Geophysics (May 2017) 82 (3): MR75-MR88


Rock-physics "velocity-porosity" transforms are usually established on sets of laboratory and/or well data with the latter data source being dominant in recent practice. The purpose of establishing such transforms is to (1) conduct forward modeling of the seismic response for various geologically plausible "what if" scenarios in the subsurface and (2) interpret seismic data for petrophysical properties and conditions, such as porosity, clay content, and pore fluid. Because the scale of investigation in the well is considerably smaller than that in reflection seismology, an important question is whether the rock-physics model established in the well can be used at the seismic scale. We use synthetic examples and well data to show that a rock-physics model established at the well approximately holds at the seismic scale, suggest a reason for this scale independence, and explore where it may be violated. The same question can be addressed as an inverse problem: Assume that we have a rock-physics transform and know that it works at the scale of investigation at which the elastic properties are seismically measured. What are the upscaled (smeared) petrophysical properties and conditions that these elastic properties point to? It appears that they are approximately the arithmetically volume-averaged porosity and clay content (in a simple quartz/clay setting) and are close to the arithmetically volume-averaged bulk modulus of the pore fluid (rather than averaged saturation).

ISSN: 0016-8033
EISSN: 1942-2156
Coden: GPYSA7
Serial Title: Geophysics
Serial Volume: 82
Serial Issue: 3
Title: Rock-physics transforms and scale of investigation
Affiliation: Stanford University, Department of Geophysics, Stanford, CA, United States
Pages: MR75-MR88
Published: 201705
Text Language: English
Publisher: Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
References: 19
Accession Number: 2017-042118
Categories: Applied geophysics
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus.
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Update Code: 201723
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal