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Seismoelectric measurements in a porous quartz-sand sample with anisotropic permeabilityNormal access

Authors: Z. Zhu, M.N. Toksöz and X. Zhan
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 64, No 3, May 2016 pp. 700 - 713
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12304
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 3.78Mb )

Seismoelectric coupling coefficients are difficult to predict theoretically because they depend on a large numbers of rock properties, including porosity, permeability, tortuosity, etc. The dependence of the coupling coefficient on rock properties such as permeability requires experimental data. In this study, we carry out a set of laboratory measurements to determine the dependence of seismoelectric coupling coefficient on permeability. We use both an artificial porous “sandstone” sample, with cracks, built using quartz-sand and Berea sandstone samples. The artificial sample is a cube with 39% porosity. Its permeability levels are anisotropic: 14.7 D, 13.8 D, and 8.3 D in the x-, y-, and z-directions, respectively. Seismoelectric measurements are performed in a water tank in the frequency range of 20 kHz–90 kHz. A piezoelectric P-wave source is used to generate an acoustic wave that propagates through the sample from the three different (x, y, and z) directions. The amplitudes of the seismoelectric signal induced by the acoustic waves vary with the direction. The highest signal is in the direction of the highest permeability, and the lowest signal is in the direction of the lowest permeability. Since the porosity of the sample is constant, the results directly show the dependence of seismoelectric coefficients on permeability. Seismoelectric measurements with natural rocks are performed using Berea sandstone 500 and 100 samples. Because the Berea samples are nearly isotropic in permeability, the amplitudes of the seismoelectric signals induced in the different directions are the same within the measurement error. Because the permeability of Berea 500 is higher than that of Berea 100, the amplitude of the seismoelectric signals induced in Berea 500 is higher than those in Berea 100. To determine the relative contributions of porosity and permeability on seismoelectric conversion, we carried out an analysis, using Pride(1994) formulation and Kozeny–Carman relationship; the normalized amplitudes of seismoelectric coupling coefficients in three directions are calculated and compared with the experimental results. The results show that the seismoelectric conversion is related to permeability in the frequency range of measurements. This is an encouraging result since it opens the possibility of determining the permeability of a formation from seismoelectric measurements.

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