The geometrical distribution of various components in a composite sandstone is decisive for its overall stiffness and seismic velocities. Information about which constituents, for example, are load bearing, dispersed in pore fluid or present as contact cement is, therefore, necessary if the seismic properties are to be modelled reliably. A distribution scheme for quartz cement, K-feldspar and some of the most common clay minerals in sandstones (illite, kaolinite, smectite and chlorite) is suggested on the basis of thin-section observations made by a number of authors. This classification scheme facilitates rock physics modelling as a function of mineral concentrations. A composite rock physics model has also been developed to account for simultaneous combinations of mineral distributions. Well-known mineral reactions are used to make simple models of mineralogy versus temperature (depth) from different starting scenarios, as various minerals tend to follow different and predictable paths during burial and increasing temperature. The mineralogical trends are then entered into the composite rock physics model to produce the diagenetic evolution of seismic rock properties, and the procedure is used to estimate the effective rock properties of sandstones in a well log. The modelling allows deductions to be made about possible mineralogies and their distributions from seismic parameters. Finally, reflection coefficients resulting from sandstones subjected to various diagenetic processes are modelled and analysed. The results show that it is possible to discriminate between reflections emanating from the interfaces of a selection of common diagenetic scenarios.

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