Attenuation of seismic waves in brine-saturated Hawkesbury sandstone: An experimental study

T.D. Rathnaweera, P. G. Ranjith, M.S.A. Perera

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The attenuation characteristics of compressional (P) and shear (S) waves in dry water, and varyingly saturated brine (10, 20 and 30% NaCl by weight) saturated Hawkesbury sandstone samples were measured in the laboratory within the ultrasonic frequency range of 0.1-1.5MHz. The results were analyzed using the pulse transmission technique and spectral ratios were used to calculate the attenuation coefficient and quality factor (Q). The values were calculated relative to a reference sample of aluminium with negligible attenuation, and the effect of salinity on the attenuation characteristics of sandstone was evaluated. Velocity dispersion was observed for both P and S waves for all the tested conditions. It is observed that the attenuation coefficient is frequency-dependent, and the attenuation coefficient of the tested sandstone is linearly proportional to frequency for both P and S waves. Interestingly, with respect to dry value, the attenuation coefficient increases with the fluid saturation (both water and brine). Moreover, the calculated Q values reveal that the values are highly dependent on saturation condition, and reduce with saturation. Varyingly saturated brine (10, 20 and 30% of NaCl) was then used to simulate the brine saturation effect. According to the results, although the sample saturated with 10% NaCl had similar attenuation characteristics to the water-saturated sample, 20 and 30% NaCl saturated samples displayed considerable variations in attenuation coefficient and quality factor, where the attenuation coefficient decreases with increasing salinity level of the pore fluid and consequently, the quality factor of the rock formation is also increased.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication49th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2015
Subtitle of host publicationSan Francisco, California, USA; 29 June - 1 July 2015
PublisherAmerican Rock Mechanics Association (ARMA)
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510810518
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventUS Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2015 - San Francisco, United States of America
Duration: 28 Jun 20151 Jul 2015
Conference number: 49th


ConferenceUS Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CitySan Francisco
Internet address

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