An investigation of porosity–velocity relationships in faulted carbonates using outcrop analogues

David Healy, Joyce E. Neilson, Thomas J. Haines, Emma A. H. Michie, Nicholas E. Timms, Moyra E. J. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Porosity and permeability are notoriously difficult to predict in carbonates, especially prior to drilling when there is a lack of direct petrophysical data. The aim of this paper is to document the initial results of an integrated outcrop and laboratory study designed to investigate the relationships between pore systems and acoustic velocities in faulted Oligo-Miocene carbonates on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. Depositional facies is shown to have a significant effect, with velocities in grain-dominated carbonates up to 1000 m s−1 higher than those in micrite-dominated carbonates. Based on outcrop structural data, the fault zones can be separated into three architectural components: a fault core; an intensely damaged zone; and a weakly damaged zone, with the last passing into undamaged protolith. Our data suggest that only the fault core component can be identified using porosity–velocity data, with P-wave velocity (Vp) values of 5000–6500 m s−1 at helium porosities of less than 5%. Our study is novel in that the prediction of elastic properties and acoustic velocities across fault zones is anticipated by linking laboratory-scale measurements with seismic-scale predictions through quantitative rock physics modelling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages261-280
Number of pages20
Volume406
No.1
Specialist publicationSpecial Publication - Geological Society of London
PublisherGeological Society of London
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014

Fingerprint

outcrop
carbonate
fault zone
acoustics
porosity
micrite
elastic property
prediction
protolith
helium
P-wave
wave velocity
physics
drilling
Miocene
permeability
rock
modeling
laboratory

Cite this

An investigation of porosity–velocity relationships in faulted carbonates using outcrop analogues. / Healy, David; Neilson, Joyce E.; Haines, Thomas J.; Michie, Emma A. H.; Timms, Nicholas E.; Wilson, Moyra E. J.

In: Special Publication - Geological Society of London, Vol. 406, No. 1, 07.07.2014, p. 261-280.

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Healy, David ; Neilson, Joyce E. ; Haines, Thomas J. ; Michie, Emma A. H. ; Timms, Nicholas E. ; Wilson, Moyra E. J. / An investigation of porosity–velocity relationships in faulted carbonates using outcrop analogues. In: Special Publication - Geological Society of London. 2014 ; Vol. 406, No. 1. pp. 261-280.
@misc{3b3f905f7a9d4b0294e3eac24ac01e4d,
title = "An investigation of porosity–velocity relationships in faulted carbonates using outcrop analogues",
abstract = "Porosity and permeability are notoriously difficult to predict in carbonates, especially prior to drilling when there is a lack of direct petrophysical data. The aim of this paper is to document the initial results of an integrated outcrop and laboratory study designed to investigate the relationships between pore systems and acoustic velocities in faulted Oligo-Miocene carbonates on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. Depositional facies is shown to have a significant effect, with velocities in grain-dominated carbonates up to 1000 m s−1 higher than those in micrite-dominated carbonates. Based on outcrop structural data, the fault zones can be separated into three architectural components: a fault core; an intensely damaged zone; and a weakly damaged zone, with the last passing into undamaged protolith. Our data suggest that only the fault core component can be identified using porosity–velocity data, with P-wave velocity (Vp) values of 5000–6500 m s−1 at helium porosities of less than 5{\%}. Our study is novel in that the prediction of elastic properties and acoustic velocities across fault zones is anticipated by linking laboratory-scale measurements with seismic-scale predictions through quantitative rock physics modelling.",
author = "David Healy and Neilson, {Joyce E.} and Haines, {Thomas J.} and Michie, {Emma A. H.} and Timms, {Nicholas E.} and Wilson, {Moyra E. J.}",
note = "We thank C. Taylor, W. Ritchie and G. Cunha for technical assistance at the University of Aberdeen, and I. Alsop for field photographs. S. Boon (University College, London) provided invaluable advice on ultrasonic velocity equipment and measurements. We also thank Total E & P, the BG Group, and the Industry Technology Facilitator (Aberdeen) for project funding and ongoing support. The Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society (AFES) helped with significant additional funding for equipment and thin sections. Lastly, we thank the Hedberg conference organizers for a stimulating and intellectually challenging conference. From: Agar, S. M. & Geiger, S. (eds) Fundamental Controls on Fluid Flow in Carbonates.",
year = "2014",
month = "7",
day = "7",
doi = "10.1144/SP406.13",
language = "English",
volume = "406",
pages = "261--280",
journal = "Special Publication - Geological Society of London",
issn = "0375-6440",
publisher = "Geological Society of London",

}

TY - GEN

T1 - An investigation of porosity–velocity relationships in faulted carbonates using outcrop analogues

AU - Healy, David

AU - Neilson, Joyce E.

AU - Haines, Thomas J.

AU - Michie, Emma A. H.

AU - Timms, Nicholas E.

AU - Wilson, Moyra E. J.

N1 - We thank C. Taylor, W. Ritchie and G. Cunha for technical assistance at the University of Aberdeen, and I. Alsop for field photographs. S. Boon (University College, London) provided invaluable advice on ultrasonic velocity equipment and measurements. We also thank Total E & P, the BG Group, and the Industry Technology Facilitator (Aberdeen) for project funding and ongoing support. The Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society (AFES) helped with significant additional funding for equipment and thin sections. Lastly, we thank the Hedberg conference organizers for a stimulating and intellectually challenging conference. From: Agar, S. M. & Geiger, S. (eds) Fundamental Controls on Fluid Flow in Carbonates.

PY - 2014/7/7

Y1 - 2014/7/7

N2 - Porosity and permeability are notoriously difficult to predict in carbonates, especially prior to drilling when there is a lack of direct petrophysical data. The aim of this paper is to document the initial results of an integrated outcrop and laboratory study designed to investigate the relationships between pore systems and acoustic velocities in faulted Oligo-Miocene carbonates on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. Depositional facies is shown to have a significant effect, with velocities in grain-dominated carbonates up to 1000 m s−1 higher than those in micrite-dominated carbonates. Based on outcrop structural data, the fault zones can be separated into three architectural components: a fault core; an intensely damaged zone; and a weakly damaged zone, with the last passing into undamaged protolith. Our data suggest that only the fault core component can be identified using porosity–velocity data, with P-wave velocity (Vp) values of 5000–6500 m s−1 at helium porosities of less than 5%. Our study is novel in that the prediction of elastic properties and acoustic velocities across fault zones is anticipated by linking laboratory-scale measurements with seismic-scale predictions through quantitative rock physics modelling.

AB - Porosity and permeability are notoriously difficult to predict in carbonates, especially prior to drilling when there is a lack of direct petrophysical data. The aim of this paper is to document the initial results of an integrated outcrop and laboratory study designed to investigate the relationships between pore systems and acoustic velocities in faulted Oligo-Miocene carbonates on the Mediterranean islands of Malta and Gozo. Depositional facies is shown to have a significant effect, with velocities in grain-dominated carbonates up to 1000 m s−1 higher than those in micrite-dominated carbonates. Based on outcrop structural data, the fault zones can be separated into three architectural components: a fault core; an intensely damaged zone; and a weakly damaged zone, with the last passing into undamaged protolith. Our data suggest that only the fault core component can be identified using porosity–velocity data, with P-wave velocity (Vp) values of 5000–6500 m s−1 at helium porosities of less than 5%. Our study is novel in that the prediction of elastic properties and acoustic velocities across fault zones is anticipated by linking laboratory-scale measurements with seismic-scale predictions through quantitative rock physics modelling.

U2 - 10.1144/SP406.13

DO - 10.1144/SP406.13

M3 - Article

VL - 406

SP - 261

EP - 280

JO - Special Publication - Geological Society of London

JF - Special Publication - Geological Society of London

SN - 0375-6440

PB - Geological Society of London

ER -