Effects of Microstructure on the Elastic Properties of Sandstones and Its Seismic Implication



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The primary focus of this dissertation is to link the geological diagenesis mechanism of sandstones to theoretical rock-physics models and experimental measurements to quantitatively characterize the elastic modulus of sandstone from high-porosity (early geological stage) sediments to low-porosity consolidated (aged geological stage) rocks. In order to quantitatively investigate the velocity dispersion and attenuation mechanism of sandstones, the seismic-frequency measurements are conducted under both room-dry and partial gas or water-saturation conditions. I address two main aspects of this research topic, from the theoretical point of view: (1) to modify the grain-contact models and understand the effect of micro-scale physical parameters on the elastic properties of porous-granular packs; and (2) to characterize the cementation thickness and cement material as feature-effects on the elastic modulus of cemented grain packs, with consideration of geological diagenesis. Meanwhile, from the experimental point of view: (1) to integrate the seismic-frequency measurements with ultrasonic measurements, and to quantitatively characterize velocity dispersion and attenuation mechanism of weakly consolidated sandstone under room-dry and partial water-saturation conditions; and (2) to conduct specialized ultrasonic measurements on the mixture of heavy oil-glass bead to investigate the uniquely elastic property of heavy oil-sand, which is predominant temperature-dependent.



Unconsolidated rock, Diagenesis


Portions of this document appear in: Li, Hui, Luanxiao Zhao, De-Hua Han, Min Sun, and Yu Zhang. "Elastic properties of heavy oil sands: Effects of temperature, pressure, and microstructure." Geophysics 81, no. 4 (2016): D453-D464. And in: Li, Hui, De-Hua Han, Hemin Yuan, Xuan Qin, and Luanxiao Zhao. "Porosity of heavy oil sand: Laboratory measurement and bound analysis." Geophysics 81, no. 2 (2016): D83-D90. And in: Li, Hui, and De-Hua Han. "Rock Physics Modeling of Unconsolidated Sands: Accounting for Partial Friction Grain Contacts and Heterogeneous Stress Field." Journal of Computational Acoustics 23, no. 04 (2015): 1540001.