Abstract

Vertical transverse isotropy (VTI) will affect seismic inversion, but it is not possible to solve for the full set of anisotropic elastic parameters from amplitude variation with offset inversion because there exists an isotropic solution to every VTI problem. We can easily approximate the pseudoisotropic properties that result from the isotropic solution to the anisotropic problem for well-log data. We can then use these well-log properties to provide a low-frequency model for inversion and/or a framework for interpreting either absolute or relative inversion results. This, however, requires prior knowledge of the anisotropic properties, which are often unavailable or poorly constrained. If we ignore anisotropy and assume that the amplitude variations caused by VTI are going to be accounted for by effective wavelets, the inversion results would be in error: The impact of anisotropy is not merely a case of linear scaling of seismic amplitudes for any particular angle range. Ignoring VTI does not affect the prediction of acoustic impedance, but it does affect predictions of VP/VS and density. For realistic values of anisotropy, these errors can be significant, such as predicting oil instead of brine. If the anisotropy of the rocks is known, then we can invert for the true vertical elastic properties using the known anisotropy coefficients through a facies-based inversion. This can produce a more accurate result than solving for pseudoelastic properties, and it can take advantage of the sometimes increased separation of isotropic and anisotropic rocks in the pseudoisotropic elastic domain. Because the effect of anisotropy will vary depending on the strength of the anisotropy and the distribution of the rocks, we strongly recommend forward modeling for each case prior to inversion to understand the potential impact on the study objectives.

You do not currently have access to this article.