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AVO
267
The Rock Physics of AVO
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
268
Watersaturated
40 MPa
Watersaturated
1040 MPa
Gas and
Watersaturated
1040 MPa
L8
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
269
N.1
More than 400 sandstone data points, with porosities
ranging over 439%, clay content 055%, effective
pressure 540 MPa  all water saturated.
When Vp is plotted vs. Vs, they follow a remarkably
narrow trend. Variations in porosity, clay, and pressure
simply move the points up and down the trend.
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
270
N.2
Variations in porosity, pore pressure, and shaliness
move data along trends. Changing the pore fluid
causes the trend to change.
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
271
Different shearrelated attributes.
N.2
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
272
In an isotropic medium, a wave that is incident on a
boundary will generally create two reflected waves (one
P and one S) and two transmitted waves. The total shear
traction acting on the boundary in medium 1 (due to the
summed effects of the incident an reflected waves) must
be equal to the total shear traction acting on the boundary in
medium 2 (due to the summed effects of the
transmitted waves). Also the displacement of a point in
medium 1 at the boundary must be equal to the displace
ment of a point in medium 2 at the boundary.
V
P1
, V
S1
, ρ
1
V
P2
, V
S2
, ρ
2
θ
1
φ
1
θ
2
φ
2
Reflected
Pwave
Incident
Pwave
Reflected
Swave
Transmitted
Pwave
Transmitted
Swave
N.4
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
273
By matching the traction and displacement boundary
conditions, Zoeppritz (1919) derived the equations
relating the amplitudes of the P and S waves:
€
sin θ
1
( )
cos φ
1
( )
−sin θ
2
( )
cos φ
2
( )
−cos θ
1
( )
sin φ
1
( )
−cos θ
2
( )
−sin φ
2
( )
sin 2θ
1
( )
V
P1
V
S1
cos 2φ
1
( )
ρ
2
V
S 2
2
V
P1
ρ
1
V
S1
2
V
P 2
sin 2θ
2
( )
−
ρ
2
V
S 2
V
P1
ρ
1
V
S1
2
cos 2φ
2
( )
−cos 2φ
1
( )
−
V
S1
V
P1
sin 2φ
1
( )
−
ρ
2
V
P2
ρ
1
V
P1
cos 2φ
2
( )
−
ρ
2
V
S 2
ρ
1
V
P1
cos 2φ
2
( )
Rpp
Rps
Tpp
Tps
=
−sin θ
1
( )
−cos θ
1
( )
sin 2θ
1
( )
−cos 2φ
1
( )
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
274
AVO  Shuey's Approximation
Pwave reflectivity versus angle:
Intercept
Gradient
€
R θ ( ) = R
0
+ ER
0
+
Δν
1− ν
( )
2
sin
2
θ +
1
2
ΔV
P
V
P
tan
2
θ − sin
2
θ
[ ]
€
R
0
≈
1
2
ΔV
P
V
P
+
Δρ
ρ
€
E = F − 2 1 + F ( )
1− 2ν
1−ν
€
F =
ΔV
P
/ V
P
ΔV
P
/ V
P
+ Δρ / ρ
€
ΔV
P
= V
P 2
− V
P1
( )
€
ΔV
S
= V
S 2
− V
S1
( )
€
Δρ = ρ
2
− ρ
1
( )
€
V
P
= V
P2
+ V
P1
( ) / 2
€
V
S
= V
S2
+ V
S1
( ) / 2
€
ρ = ρ
2
+ ρ
1
( ) / 2
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
275
Pwave reflectivity versus angle:
Intercept Gradient
€
R θ ( ) = R
0
+
1
2
ΔV
P
V
P
− 2
V
S
2
V
P
2
Δρ
ρ
+ 2
ΔV
S
V
S
(
\

\
!









sin
2
θ
+
1
2
ΔV
P
V
P
tan
2
θ − sin
2
θ
[ ]
€
R
0
≈
1
2
ΔV
P
V
P
+
Δρ
ρ
€
ΔV
P
= V
P 2
− V
P1
( )
€
ΔV
S
= V
S 2
− V
S1
( )
€
Δρ = ρ
2
− ρ
1
( )
€
V
P
= V
P2
+ V
P1
( ) / 2
€
V
S
= V
S2
+ V
S1
( ) / 2
€
ρ = ρ
2
+ ρ
1
( ) / 2
AVO  AkiRichard's approximation:
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
276
AVO Response
PVelocity Poisson ratio AVO response
contrast contrast
negative negative increase
negative positive decrease
positive negative decrease
positive positive increase
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
277
VpVs Relations
There is a wide, and sometimes confusing, variety of
published VpVs relations and Vs prediction techniques,
which at first appear to be quite distinct. However, most
reduce to the same two simple steps:
1. Establish empirical relations among Vp, Vs, and porosity
for one reference pore fluidmost often water saturated or
dry.
2. Use Gassmann’s (1951) relations to map these empirical
relations to other pore fluid states.
Although some of the effective medium models predict both P
and S velocities assuming idealized pore geometries, the fact
remains that the most reliable and most often used VpVs
relations are empirical fits to laboratory and/or log data. The
most useful role of theoretical methods is extending these
empirical relations to different pore fluids or measurement
frequencies. Hence, the two steps listed above.
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
278
N.5
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Sandstones
Water Saturated
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
mudrock
V
s
= .8621V
p
 1. 1724
Castagna et al. (1993)
V
s
= .8042V
p
 . 8559
Han (1986)
V
s
= .7936V
p
 . 7868
(after Castagna et al., 1993)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Shales
Water Saturated
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
mudrock
V
s
= .8621 V
p
 1.1724
Castagna et al. (1993)
V
s
= .8042V
p
 . 8559
Han (1986)
V
s
= .7936V
p
 . 7868
(after Castagna et al., 1993)
N.5
Mudrock
Vs = .86 Vp  1.17
Han (1986)
Vs = .79 Vp  0.79
Castagna et al. (1993)
Vs = .80 Vp  0.86
Mudrock
Vs = .86 Vp  1.17
Han (1986)
Vs = .79 Vp  0.79
Castagna et al. (1993)
Vs = .80 Vp  0.86
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
279
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Limestones
Water Saturated
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
V
s
= V
p
/ 1 . 9
Pickett (1963)
Castagna et al. (1993)
V
s
= .05508 V
P
2
+ 1.0168 V
p
 1.0305
water
(after Castagna et al.,1993)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Dolomite
Water Saturated
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
Castagna et al. (1993)
V
s
= .5832V
p
 . 07776
Pickett (1963)
V
s
= V
p
/ 1 . 8
(after Castagna et al., 1993)
N.6
Pickett(1963)
Vs = Vp / 1.9
Castagna et al. (1993)
Vs = .055 Vp
2
+ 1.02 Vp
 1.03
Pickett(1963)
Vs = Vp / 1.8
Castagna et al. (1993)
Vs = .58 Vp  0.078
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
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280
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Shaly Sandstones
Water Saturated
Vpsat c>.25
Vpsat c<.25
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
clay > 25 %
Vs=. 8423Vp 1. 099
clay < 25 %
Vs=. 7535Vp . 6566
mudrock
Vs=. 8621Vp 1. 1724
(Data from Han, 1986)
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
Shaly Sandstones
Water Saturated (hf)
Vpsat Phi>.15
Vpsat Phi<.15
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
porosity > 15 %
Vs = .7563Vp.6620
porosity < 15 %
Vs = .8533Vp1.1374
mudrock
Vs = .8621Vp1.1724
(Data from Han, 1986)
N.7
Mudrock
Vs = .86 Vp  1.17
Clay < 25%
Vs = .75 Vp  0.66
Clay > 25%
Vs = .84Vp1.10
porosity > 15%
Vs = .76Vp  0.66
porosity < 15%
Vs = .85 Vp  1.14
Mudrock
Vs = .86 Vp  1.17
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
281
Dry Poisson’s Ratio Assumption
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35
clay < 10%
clay > 10%
V
s
2
d
r
y
Vp
2
dry
ν = 0.01
ν = 0.1
ν = 0.2
ν = 0.3
ν = 0.4
Shaly Sandstones  Dry
The modified Voigt Average Predicts linear moduliporosity relations.
This is a convenient relation for use with the critical porosity model.
These are equivalent to the dry rock Vs/Vp relation and the dry rock
Poisson’s ratio equal to their values for pure mineral.
The plot below illustrates the approximately constant dry rock
Poisson’s ratio observed for a large set of ultrasonic sandstone
velocities (from Han, 1986) over a large rance of effective pressures (5
< P
eff
< 40 MPa) and clay contents (0 < C < 55% by volume).
N.8
€
K
dry
= K
0
1−
φ
φ
c
€
µ
dry
= µ
0
1−
φ
φ
c
€
V
S
V
P
dry rock
≈
V
S
V
P
mineral
€
ν
dry rock
≈ν
mineral
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
282
Krief’s Relation (1990)
The model combines the same two elements:
1. An empirical VpVsφ relation for watersaturated
rocks, which is approximately the same as the critical
porosity model.
2. Gassmann’s relation to extend the empirical
relation to other pore fluids.
Dry rock VpVsφ relation:
where β is Biot’s coefficient. This is equivalent to:
where
β and K
f
are two equivalent descriptions of the pore space
stiffness. Determining β vs. φ or K
φ
vs φ determines the
rock bulk modulus K
dry
vs φ.
Krief et al. (1990) used the data of Raymer et al. (1980) to
empirically find a relation for β vs φ:
€
K
dry
= K
mineral
1− β ( )
€
1
K
dry
=
1
K
0
+
φ
K
φ
€
1
K
φ
=
1
v
p
dv
p
dσ
P
P
= constant
; β =
dv
p
dV
P
P
= constant
=
φK
dry
K
φ
€
1− β ( ) = 1− φ ( )
m φ ( )
where m φ ( ) = 3 / 1−φ ( )
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
283
Assuming dry rock Poisson’s ratio is equal to the
mineral Poisson’s ratio gives
N.9
€
K
dry
= K
0
1− φ ( )
m φ ( )
µ
dry
= µ
0
1−φ
( )
m φ ( )
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
284
Expressions for any other pore fluids are obtained from
Gassmann’s equations. While these are nonlinear, they
suggest a simple approximation:
where V
Psat
, V
P0
, and V
fl
are the Pwave velocities of the
saturated rock, the mineral, and the pore fluid; and V
Ssat
and V
S0
are the Swave velocities in the saturated rock
and mineral. Rewriting slightly gives
where V
R
is the velocity of a suspension of minerals in a
fluid, given by the Reuss average at the critical porosity.
This modified form of Krief’s expression is exactly
equivalent to the linear (modified Voigt) K vs φ and µ vs φ
relations in the critical porosity model, with the fluid effects
given by Gassmann.
which is a straight line (in velocitysquared) connecting the
mineral point ( ) and the fluid point ( ). A more
accurate (and nearly identical) model is to recognize that
velocities tend toward those of a suspension at high
porosity, rather than toward a fluid, which yields the
modified form
V
P0
2
, V
S0
2
V
fl
2
, 0
€
V
P− sat
2
− V
fl
2
V
S −sat
2
=
V
P 0
2
− V
fl
2
V
S0
2
€
V
P− sat
2
− V
R
2
V
S −sat
2
=
V
P 0
2
− V
R
2
V
S0
2
€
V
P− sat
2
= V
fl
2
+ V
S− sat
2
V
P 0
2
− V
fl
2
V
S 0
2
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
285
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
35
0 5 10 15 20
VpVs Relation in Dry and
Saturated Rocks
V
p
2
(
k
m
/
s
)
2
V
s
2
(km/s)
2
saturated
dry
Sandstones
mineral
point
fluid point
N.10
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
286
N.11
0
10
20
30
40
50
0 4 8 12 16
VpVs Relation in Sandstone
and Dolomite
V
p
2
(
k
m
/
s
)
2
V
s
2
(km/s)
2
Sandstone
Dolomite
mineral
points
fluid points
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
287
V
S
=
1
2
X
i Σ
i = 1
L
a
ij
V
P
j
Σ
j = 0
N
i
+ X
i Σ
i = 1
L
a
ij
V
P
j
Σ
j = 0
N
i
–1
–1
Greenberg and Castagna (1992) have given empirical
relations for estimating Vs from Vp in multimineralic, brine
saturated rocks based on empirical, polynomial VpVs
relations in pure monomineralic lithologies (Castagna et
al., 1992). The shear wave velocity in brinesaturated
composite lithologies is approximated by a simple average
of the arithmetic and harmonic means of the constituent
pure lithology shear velocities:
Castagna et al. (1992) gave representative polynomial
regression coefficients for pure monomineralic lithologies:
Regression coefficients for pure lithologies with Vp and Vs
in km/s:
X
i
= 1
Σ
i = 1
L
V
S
= a
i2
V
P
2
+ a
i1
V
P
+ a
i0
(Castagna et al. 1992)
where
L number of monomineralic lithologic constituent
X
i
volume fractions of lithological constituents
a
ij
empirical regression coefficients
N
i
order of polynomial for constituent i
V
p
, V
s
P and S wave velocities (km/s) in composite brine
saturated, multimineralic rock
Lithology a
i2
a
i1
a
i0
Sandstone 0 0.80416 0.85588
Limestone 0.05508 1.01677 1.03049
Dolomite 0 0.58321 0.07775
Shale 0 0.76969 0.86735
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
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288
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0 1 2 3 4 5
Sandstone
Li mest one
Dol omi t e
S h a l e
V
p
(
k
m
/
s
)
Vs (km/s)
Note that the above relation is for 100% brinesaturated rocks.
To estimate Vs from measured Vp for other fluid saturations,
Gassmann’s equation has to be used in an iterative manner.
In the following, the subscript b denotes velocities at 100%
brine saturation and the subscript f denotes velocities at any
other fluid saturation (e.g. this could be oil or a mixture of oil,
brine, and gas). The method consists of iteratively finding a
(Vp, Vs) point on the brine relation that transforms, with
Gassmann’s relation, to the measured Vp and the unknown Vs
for the new fluid saturation. the steps are as follows:
1. Start with an initial guess for V
Pb
.
2. Calculate V
Sb
corresponding to V
Pb
from the empirical
regression.
3. Do fluid substitution using V
Pb
and V
Sb
in the Gassmann
equation to get V
Sf
.
4. With the calculated V
Sf
and the measured V
Pf
, use the
Gassmann relation to get a new estimate of V
Pb
. Check with
previous value of V
Pb
for convergence. If convergence
criterion is met, stop; if not go back to step 2 and continue.
N.12
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
289
Coefficients for the equation
ρ
b
= aVp
2
+ bVp + c
Lithology a b c Vp Range
(Km/s)
Shale .0261 .373 1.458 1.55.0
Sandstone .0115 .261 1.515 1.56.0
Limestone .0296 .461 0.963 3.56.4
Dolomite .0235 .390 1.242 4.57.1
Anhydrite .0203 .321 1.732 4.67.4
Coefficients for the equation
ρ
b
= dVp
f
Lithology d f Vp Range
(Km/s)
Shale 1.75 .265 1.55.0
Sandstone 1.66 .261 1.56.0
Limestone 1.50 .225 3.56.4
Dolomite 1.74 .252 4.57.1
Anhydrite 2.19 .160 4.67.4
Both forms of Gardner’s relations applied to log and lab shale data, as
presented by Castagna et al. (1993)
Polynomial and powerlaw forms of the Gardner et al. (1974) velocitydensity
relationships presented by Castagna et al. (1993). Units are km/s and
g/cm
3
.
N.15
1.359 .386
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
290
Both forms of Gardner’s relations applied to
laboratory dolomite data.
N.16
Stanford Rock Physics Laboratory  Gary Mavko
AVO
291
Both forms of Gardner’s relations applied to laboratory limestone data. Note
that the published powerlaw form does not fit as well as the polynomial. we
also show a powerlaw form fit to these data, which agrees very well with the
polynomial.
Both forms of Gardner’s relations applied to log and lab sandstone data, as
presented by Castagna et al. (1993).
N.17
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