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Published by: Saeed Niknejad on Feb 26, 2011
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Workshop, "Sound of Geology", 26th-28th April, 2006 Norway, Bergen

Pore size and pore type effects on velocity – Implication for carbonate rock physic models
Gregor T. Baechle1, Ralf Weger1, Gregor P. Eberli1 and Arnout Colpaert2
1 2

Comparative Sedimentology Laboratory, University of Miami,4600 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149 University of Tromsø, Norway

288 ultrasonic velocity measurements from 6 different pure carbonate provinces reveal that in carbonates sonic velocity and the permeability are not only a function of total porosity but also of the predominant pore type. The high diagenetic potential of carbonates result in intense alteration of the pore structure, which can lead to a decrease of effective porosity for flow and wave propagation. There is a general porosity-velocity correlation but significant deviations occur from this relationship for certain pore types. As a result, samples of equal porosity can exhibit widely variable permeability and velocity. Moldic and intraframe porosity result in significantly higher velocity values than do pore types that are not embedded in a frame such as intercrystalline and interparticle pores. Here, we focus on the size of the pores in relation to the rock compressibility. Our deterministic approach of linking constant pore stiffness to carbonate pore types tries to find a meaningful reasoning which fits our experimental data and quantitative/qualitative-pore structure observations. Knowledge of the pore structure is essential for prediction of reservoir pore volume and permeability. It has been established in siliclastics that by grouping the data in different hydraulic units accordingly to their pore space properties, a positive correlation between velocity and permeability can be established (Prasad, 2003).

Pore space stiffness: Velocity deviation quantified
In our carbonates dataset, pore stiffness of specific pore types is constant over a wide porosity range. We propose that the ratio α of pore space stiffness over mineral modulus [(Kpor)/(Kmin)] quantifies non-linear porosity-bulk modulus trends of specific carbonate pore types:
1 0.9 0.8 Normalized Bulk Modulus 0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2
α = 0.1 α = 0.2 microporosity vugy porosity Modified Voigt boundary using Nur's critical porosity concept

α = Kpor/Kmin

K por = −

K ⋅ K min ⋅ φ K − K min

whereas, K = rock bulk modulus

The pore space stiffness α uniquely quantifies the velocity variability at a given porosity. Constant αs generates trend lines in the normalized bulk modulus-poroisyt space (Fig. 1). Trend lines generated by 0.1 specidfic αs correlate with bulk modulus of rocks containing 0 endmember pore types. Recrystallized dolomites with secondary vuggy 0.05 0.1 0.15 0.2 0.25 0.3 0.35 0.4 Porosity (%) porosity and low amount of microporosity show distinctive higher α (normalized pore space stiffness) values of around 0.2 compared to high microporosity limestones with lower normalized pore space stiffness Fig. 1: Carbonates dominated by microporosity (0.1) (Fig. 1). show lower pore stiffness than rocks with vuggy Based on velocity and digital image analysis, we conclude that creation porosity. of vuggy porosity will increase porosity but not necessarily change the pore space compressibility because acoustic energy potentially bypasses the void space in the surrounding stiff frame. In our data set the stiffness of the rock framework of some samples is larger than the modified Voigt boundary (using Nur’s critical porosity of 40% for dolomites and limestones). In addition, the proportion of microporosity with respect to total porosity is inversely related to the pore space stiffness. Microporosity is defined in this study as subtracting the image macroporosity (minimum pore diameter of 30 microns detected by the digital image analysis) from the total plug porosity..

The color scheme is an indication of the percentage image-macroporosity. 2). interparticle porosity. intraparticle porosity. M.2) of pure carbonate samples show a large scatter of over 2000 m/s over the entire porosity range. Furthermore. p. Using quantitative calculated microporosity from digital images of thin sections. referred to as sucrosic dolomites. The pore types of these samples are dominated by intercrystalline porosity. . 26th-28th April. Velocity-permeability relations within hydraulic units.5. The macroporosity displays a poor correlation to the p-wave velocity. derived from an exponential best fit curve. The samples with the highest amount of microporosity (>38%) and slow velocities (~2500m/s) were found to generally be fine-grained euhedral rhombs. yields a significant increase in velocity prediction with a correlation coefficient (r2=0.86 (microporosityvelocity transform).2 compared to high microporosity limestones with α-value of around 0. moldic porosity and vuggy porosity. Using microporosity instead of total porosity results in a significant better correlation. Microporosity appears to have a dominant effect on reducing rock stiffness. which could result in better reservoir prediction and development.1. (2003). The correlation coefficient increases from 0. cementation and compaction. The microporosity shows an excellent correlation to the porosity/pore space stiffness ratio (r2=0. These results indicate that the nonlinear bulk moduli – porosity models. is superior to linear models in characterizing specific carbonate pore types. which demonstrate fast velocities at a given porosity.Workshop.108-117 Figure 1: Plot of porosity versus p-wave velocity (above) and microporosity versus velocity (below) at 10 MPa effective pressure. whereas vuggy porosity creates high apparent rock stiffness at given porosity. Recrystallized rocks with vuggy porosity show α-value of 0. No.porosity inversion in carbonate rocks.86). v68. Samples with interparticle. vuggy and moldic porosity show increasing velocity deviation from Wylie’s time average velocity with increasing macroporosity at given velocity intervals.Using empirical relationships and determining velocity from microporosity and pore space stiffness. Carbonate pore types follow a non-linear path in a moduli-porosity relationship.67 (porosity-velocity transform) to 0. The fastest velocity values at given porosity in our dataset are caused by dissolution processes and resulting vuggy porosity. the effect of dissolution is widely ignored. Bergen The crossplot of compressional velocity and porosity (Fig. These vuggy pore types are reflected in constant pore stiffness trends in samples from the Marion plateau (ODP Leg194). 2006 Norway. intercrystalline.82). instead of total plug porosity. these findings point towards the potential for a combined pore structure . Velocity prediction from a straight line porosity-velocity transform results in a low correlation coefficient of 0. Conclusions and implications for carbonate rock physic models While many poroelastic models describe changes in pore space stiffness caused by different pore shapes. like a model of constant pore stiffness. the velocity uncertainty is significantly reduced (Fig. Reference Prasad. Geophysics. "Sound of Geology". Samples with high percentages of macroporosity (>20%) are representative of samples with large pores.1. below and above the modified Voigt boundary.

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