Preliminary laboratory investigations into the attenuation of compressional and shear waves on near-surface marine sediments

Ayres, A. and Theilen, F. (2001) Preliminary laboratory investigations into the attenuation of compressional and shear waves on near-surface marine sediments Geophysical Prospecting, 49 (1). pp. 120-127. DOI 10.1046/j.1365-2478.2001.00243.x.

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Abstract

The attenuation of compressional and shear waves (Q(p) and Q(s)) has been studied by several authors but most of these investigations were performed on deep buried reservoir sandstones in order to distinguish between gas and condensate reservoirs and water-saturated sandstones. We present a preliminary investigation into the use of seismic wave attenuation as a measure of the geotechnical parameters of the near-surface marine sediments, a little-studied geological setting. A 6.9 m-long gravity core was taken from the continental slope of the Barents Sea at a water depth of 2227 m. The core was primarily composed of brown to olive-grey clayey mud, having a high content of foraminifers and being locally bioturbated. The values of Q(p) and Q(s) were determined using the rise-time method at 19 and 18 different points of the core, respectively, and they were correlated with geotechnical parameters such as wet bulk density, porosity, water content, shear strength and C/P ratio (the ratio of shear strength to overburden pressure). The calculated correlation coefficients for all correlations ranged from -0.39 to 0.41, suggesting that the attenuation characteristics of seismic waves could not be used to derive geotechnical parameters of marine sediments. However, with such a small data set it is difficult to determine clearly whether attenuation is primarily a frequency-dependent parameter and consequently not related to sediment properties, or whether the limited number of data points is the main factor responsible for the low correlation coefficients observed. Moreover, several different methods are available for the computation of the quality factor Q, and the rise-time method may not be the most appropriate means of determining the attenuation on near-surface marine sediments.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: seismic attenuation sandstones rocks velocities fluids
Research affiliation: Kiel University
DOI etc.: 10.1046/j.1365-2478.2001.00243.x
ISSN: 0016-8025
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2012 07:23
Last Modified: 08 Oct 2012 10:39
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/16271

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