Analysis of prestack amplitude variation with offset and azimuth (often called “azimuthal AVO analysis” or “AVAZ”) is one of the most effective tools for seismic characterization of fractures and in-situ stress field. The main advantage of amplitude methods compared to traveltime inversion is their high vertical resolution that makes AVO analysis applicable to relatively thin reservoirs. Also, body-wave amplitudes are highly sensitive to seismic anisotropy and, in particular, to azimuthal velocity variations associated with vertical fracture systems and nonhydrostatic stresses.

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