Elevated elastic velocities are a distinct physical property of gas hydrate-bearing sediments. A number of velocity models and equations (e.g., pore-filling model, cementation model, effective medium theories, weighted equations, and time-average equations) have been used to describe this effect. In particular, the weighted equation and effective medium theory predict reasonably well the elastic properties of unconsolidated gas hydrate-bearing sediments. A weakness of the weighted equation is its use of the empirical relationship of the time-average equation as one element of the equation. One drawback of the effective medium theory is its prediction of unreasonably higher shear-wave velocity at high porosities, so that the predicted velocity ratio does not agree well with the observed velocity ratio. To overcome these weaknesses, a method is proposed, based on Biot-Gassmann theories and assuming the formation velocity ratio (shear to compressional velocity) of an unconsolidated sediment is related to the velocity ratio of the matrix material of the formation and its porosity. Using the Biot coefficient calculated from either the weighted equation or from the effective medium theory, the proposed method accurately predicts the elastic properties of unconsolidated sediments with or without gas hydrate concentration. This method was applied to the observed velocities at the Mallik 2L-39 well, Mackenzie Delta, Canada.
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Biot-Gassmann theory for velocities of gas hydrate-bearing sediments