Elastic velocities of water-saturated sandstones depend primarily on porosity, effective pressure, and the degree of consolidation. If the dry-frame moduli are known, from either measurements or theoretical calculations, the effect of pore water on velocities can be modeled using the Gassmann theory. Kuster and Toksoz developed a theory based on wave-scattering theory for a variety of inclusion shapes, which provides a means for calculating dry- or wet-frame moduli. In the Kuster-Toksoz theory, elastic wave velocities through different sediments can be predicted by using different aspect ratios of the sediment's pore space. Elastic velocities increase as the pore aspect ratio increases (larger pore aspect ratio describes a more spherical pore). On the basis of the velocity ratio, which is assumed to be a function of (1-0)n, and the Biot-Gassmann theory, Lee developed a semi-empirical equation for predicting elastic velocities, which is referred to as the modified Biot-Gassmann theory of Lee. In this formulation, the exponent n, which depends on the effective pressure and the degree of consolidation, controls elastic velocities; as n increases, elastic velocities decrease. Computationally, the role of exponent n in the modified Biot-Gassmann theory by Lee is similar to the role of pore aspect ratios in the Kuster-Toksoz theory. For consolidated sediments, either theory predicts accurate velocities. However, for unconsolidated sediments, the modified Biot-Gassmann theory by Lee performs better than the Kuster-Toksoz theory, particularly in predicting S-wave velocities.

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Publication type:

Report

Publication Subtype:

USGS Numbered Series

Title:

Comparison of the Modified Biot-Gassmann Theory and the Kuster-Toksoz Theory in Predicting Elastic Velocities of Sediments