Useful data lurk in seismic inelasticity, nonlinearity

Miron Rapoport Geophysicist Redmond, Wash. Measurements of productive and dry wells, when correlated with actual processed seismic data from many fields, have shown that oil and gas deposits have both increased attenuation and dispersion of the phase velocity of longitudinal waves. These are due to the thermodynamic instability of complex hydrocarbon mixtures as well as to phase transitions in such mixtures during propagation of elastic waves. These effects are characteristic nonlinear properties that can be used at various stages of the analysis of hydrocarbon deposits. In oil and gas exploration, the main and often only method of subsurface imaging is conventional reflection seismic, wh...

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