Abstract

Amplitude variation with offset and azimuth (AVOAz) analysis can be separated into two separate parts: amplitude variation with offset (AVO) analysis and amplitude versus azimuth (AVAz) analysis. Useful information about fractures and anisotropy can be obtained just by examining the AVAz. The AVAz can be described as a sum of sinusoids of different periodicities, each characterized by its magnitude and phase. This sum is mathematically equivalent to a Fourier series, and hence the coefficients describing the AVAz response are azimuthal Fourier coefficients (FCs). This FC parameterization is purely descriptive. The aim of this paper is to help the interpreter understand what these coefficients mean in terms of anisotropic and fracture parameters for the case of P-wave reflectivity using a linearized approximation. The FC representation is valid for general anisotropy. However, to gain insight into the significance of FCs, more restrictive assumptions about the anisotropy or facture system must be assumed. In the case of transverse anisotropic media with a horizontal axis of symmetry, the P-wave reflectivity linearized approximation may be rewritten in terms of azimuthal FCs with the magnitude and phase of the different FCs corresponding to traditional AVAz attributes. Linear slip theory is used to show that the FCs can be interpreted similarly for the cases of a single set of parallel vertical fractures in isotropic media and in transverse anisotropic media with a vertical axis of symmetry (VTI). The magnitude of the FCs depends on the fracture weakness parameters and the background media. For the case of vertical fractures in a VTI background, the AVOAz inverse problem is underdetermined, so extra information must be incorporated to determine how the weights are modified due to this background anisotropy. We evaluated this on a 3D data set from northwest Louisiana for which the main target was the Haynesville shale.

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