Document Type


Publication Date



The effect of pore fluids on seismic wave attenuation in carbonate rocks is important for interpreting remote sensing observations of carbonate reservoirs undergoing enhanced oil recovery. Here we measure the elastic moduli and attenuation in the laboratory for five carbonate samples with 20% to 30% porosity and permeability between 0.03 and 58.1 mdarcy. Contrary to most observations in sandstones, bulk compressibility losses dominate over shear wave losses for dry samples and samples fully saturated with either liquid butane or brine. This observation holds for four out of five samples at seismic (10–1000 Hz) and ultrasonic frequencies (0.8 MHz) and reservoir pressures. Attenuation modeled from the modulus data using Cole-Cole relations agrees in that the bulk losses are greater than the shear losses. On average, attenuation increases by 250% when brine substitutes a light hydrocarbon in these carbonate rocks. For some of our samples, attenuation is frequency-dependent, but in the typical exploration frequency range (10–100 Hz), attenuation is practically constant for the measured samples.

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union. DOI: 10.1029/2008JB005890