Petroacoustics
A Tool for Applied Seismics
Petroacoustics - A Tool for Applied Seismics

Petroacoustics
A Tool for Applied Seismics

Patrick Rasolofosaon and Bernard Zinszner

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2516/ifpen/2014002
ISBN: 2-901638-14-7
EAN: 9782901638148

This work is dedicated to the memory of Olivier Coussy (1953-2010), who, in the beginning of his career, enormously contributed to popularizing Poromechanics among petroleum geoscientists, through numerous fruitful collaborations with IFP Energies nouvelles. At that time, we were incredibly lucky to be witnesses and sometimes actors, with Olivier's help, in this revolution.

Petroacoustics, or more commonly Rock Acoustics, is the study of mechanical wave propagation in rocks. It is one of the most prolific branches of 'Rock Physics', aiming itself to make the link between the rock response to remote physical solicitations (often by wave methods or by potential methods) and the physical properties of rocks (such as mineralogy, porosity, permeability, fluid content.). Rock physics is a very active field, which has early evolved from a sophisticated curiosity for specialists to a mainstream research topic leading to practical tools now routinely integrated in oil exploration and exploitation. On the leading edge of this wave, volunteering groups of specialists of Rock Physics constituting a global community meet during the International Workshop on Rock Physics (IWRP), involving both industry and academia, and not associated with any formal organisation or institution, as documented on their website http://www.rockphysicists.org/Home.

After this website, many references on petroacoustics are already available for decades. For the 1990s numerous experimental and theoretical works have accumulated and new books have been published, for instance 'The Rock Physics Handbook' of Gary Mavko, Tapan Mukerji and Jack Dvorkin, among the most recommended. So one could fairly ask why a new book in the field?

This book can be considered as a natural continuation of the book entitled 'Acoustics of Porous Media', co-authored by Thierry Bourbiť, Olivier Coussy and Bernard Zinszner, and issued by the Rock Physics Laboratory of IFP Energies nouvelles in 1986 for the French version, and in 1987 for the English version. However, here the clear guideline is experimentation. In contrast to previous books, all the techniques, from the most conventional (using piezoelectric transducers) to the most recent space-age methods (as laser ultrasonics) are detailed.

The book is is divided into eight Chapters published independently on the web.

The first Chapter deals with some more or less basic notions that will be used in the following Chapters. In Chapter 2, are described the most common techniques for performing acoustic experiments on rocks in the laboratory. Chapter 3 addresses the dependence of the acoustic parameters (mainly velocity and attenuation) of geomaterials on their lithologic nature and on physical parameters. Elastic anisotropy is discussed in Chapter 4 under different points of view. Chapter 5 deals with the dependence of the mechanical properties of geological media with respect to frequency, or equivalently with wavelength. Chapter 6 deals with the poroelastic description of rock behaviour, describing the elasticity of rocks considered as porous media. Chapter 7 addresses nonlinear elasticity, a pervasive characteristic of rocks. Finally, some case histories showing practical applications of each of the theories introduced in the previous Chapters are described in Chapter 8.

Lastly, we wrote the book as if it were the book we wished we had available on our shelf at the time we were newcomers in the field. That is why we make it freely downloadable on the internet in order to facilitate sharing our experimental and theoretical expertise of these last decades with the community, and above all to encourage young newcomers to the fascinating field of Petroacoustics. We hope that some readers will actually experience as much pleasure as we experienced when writing this book.

Rueil-Malmaison, April 2014
Patrick Rasolofosaon and Bernard Zinszner
Corresponding author: patrick.rasolofosaon@ifpen.fr