Fluid-property discrimination with AVO: A Biot-Gassmann perspective

Brian H. Russell, Kenneth J. Hedlin, Fred J. Hilterman, Laurence R. Lines

This paper draws together basic rock physics, AVO, and seismic amplitude inversion to discuss how fluid discrimination can be performed using pre-stack seismic data. From both Biot and Gassmann theories for porous, fluid-saturated rocks, a general formula is first derived for fluid-property discrimination given that both the P and S impedances are available. In essence, an AVO inversion is transformed into the elastic properties of the pore space. This formula provides a more sensitive discriminator of the pore-fluid saturant than the acoustic impedance and is especially applicable in hard-rock environments. The formulation can be expressed with either the Lam constants and density, or the bulk and shear moduli and density. Numerical and well-log examples illustrate the applicability of this approach. The combination of an AVO inversion and the parameters of the formula are then discussed to show how this technique can be implemented using pre-stack seismic data. Finally, a shallow gas-sand example from Alberta and a well-log example from Eastern Canada are shown to illustrate the techniques.