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AVO Workshop – Part 1

Table of Contents - Part 1

Overview of the AVO process

Exercise 1 : The Colony Gas Sand – Setting up the project

Rock Physics & Fluid Replacement Modeling

Exercise 2 : The Colony Gas Sand – Biot-Gassmann analysis

AVO Theory and Zoeppritz Modeling

Exercise 3 : The Colony Gas Sand – Creating ZoeppritzSynthetics

Elastic Waves and Anistropy

Exercise 4 : The Colony Gas Sand – Elastic wave synthetics

AVO Analysis on Seismic Data

Exercise 5 : The Colony Gas Sand – Calculating AVO Attributes

Cross Plotting AVO Attributes and the Third Order Term

Exercise 6 : The Colony Gas Sand – Cross Plotting AVO Attributes


February, 2012 2
Table of Contents – Part 2
AVO Inversion - Elastic Impedance

AVO Inversion - Independent AVO Inversion

Exercise 7 : The Colony Gas Sand – Independent Inversion

AVO Inversion - Simultaneous Inversion

Exercise 8 : The Colony Gas Sand – Simultaneous Inversion

AVO Inversion - Lambda Mu Rho Theory

Exercise 9 : The Colony Gas Sand – LMR application

Processing Issues in AVO

Exercise 10 : Gulf Coast – Data Preparation

Exercise 11 : Gulf Coast – AVO Modeling

Exercise 12: Gulf Coast – AVO Inversion




February, 2012 3
Overview of the AVO Process

 This tutorial is a brief introduction to the Amplitude Variations with

Offset, or Amplitude Versus Offset (AVO) method.

 We will briefly review how the interpretation of seismic data has

changed through the years.

 We will then look at why AVO was an important step forward for the
interpretation of hydrocarbon anomalies.

 Finally, we will show why the AVO response is closely linked to the
rock physics of the reservoir.

February, 2012 4
A Seismic Section

The figure above shows a stacked seismic section recorded over the shallow
Cretaceous in Alberta. How would you interpret this section?

February, 2012 5
Structural Interpretation

Your eye may first go to an interesting seismic event between 630 and 640 ms. Here, it
has been picked and called H1. A seismic interpreter prior to 1970 would have looked
only at structure and perhaps have located a well at CDP 330.
February, 2012 6
Gas Well Location

And, in this case, he or she would have been right! A successful gas well was drilled
at that location. The figure above shows the sonic log, integrated to time, spliced on
the section. The gas sand top and base are shown as black lines on the log.

February, 2012 7
“Bright Spots”

But this would have been a lucky guess, since structure alone does not tell you that a
gas sand is present. A geophysicist in the 1970’s would have based the well on the
fact that there is a “bright spot” visible on the seismic section, as indicated above.
February, 2012 8
What is a “Bright Spot”?

Geology Seismic


Shale r1 V1 r 2V2  r1V1

R0 
r2 V2
r 2V2  r1V1
Gas Sand

Interface at
Reflection at time Seismic
depth = d
t = 2d/V1 Wavelet

To understand “bright spots”, recall the definition of the zero-offset reflection

coefficient, shown in the figure above. R0 , the reflection coefficient, is the amplitude
of the seismic peak shown. Note also that the product of density, r, and P-wave
velocity, V, is called acoustic impedance.
February, 2012 9
Gardner’s results for GOM

This figure, from Difference between shale and gas

Gardner et al. (1974), sand velocity at shallow depth.
shows a big difference
between shale and gas
sand velocity at shallow
depths in the Gulf of
Mexico. The paper also
shows that density and
velocity are related by
the equation
r = 0.23 V 0.25
Thus, we would expect
a large reflection
coefficient, or “bright
spot”, for shallow gas

February, 2012 10
The AVO Method

“Bright spots” can

also be caused by
variations as well
as gas sands.
Geophysicists in
the 1980’s started
looking at pre-
stack seismic data,
and found that
amplitude change
with offset could
be modeled
(Ostrander, 1984).
This example is a
Class 3 gas sand,
which we will
discuss later.
February, 2012 11
What causes the AVO Effect?

q2 q1

r1 VP1 VS1 Reflector

r2 VP2 VS2

The traces in a seismic gather reflect from the subsurface at increasing

angles of incidence q. The first order approximation to the reflection
coefficients as a function of angle is given by adding a second term to the
zero-offset reflection coefficient:
R(q )  R0  B sin q

B is a gradient term which produces the AVO effect. It is dependent on

changes in density, r, P-wave velocity, VP, and S-wave velocity, VS.
February, 2012 12
Why is S-wave Velocity Important?
As just shown, the
gradient term is
dependent on density, P
and S-wave velocity.
The reason that S-wave
velocity has such an
impact is shown on the
left, where P and S-wave
velocity are shown as a
function of gas
saturation in the
reservoir. Note that P-
wave velocity drops
dramatically, but S-wave
velocity only increases
slightly (why?). This will
be discussed in the next
February, 2012 13
AVO Modeling
P-wave Density S-wave Synthetic Offset Stack

Based on AVO theory and the rock physics of the reservoir, we can perform AVO
modeling, as shown above. Note that the model result is a fairly good match to the
offset stack. Also note that Poisson’s ratio is a function of Vp/Vs ratio and will be
discussed in the next chapter.
February, 2012 14
AVO Attributes
Intercept: A

Gradient: B
AVO Attributes are
used to analyze
large volumes of
seismic data,
looking for
February, 2012 15
Cross-Plotting of Attributes

Gradient (B) One of the AVO methods that we will be

discussing later in the course involves
cross-plotting the zero-offset reflection
coefficient (A), versus the gradient (B), as
shown on the left.

As seen in the figure below, the highlighted

zones correspond to the top of gas sand
(pink), base of gas sand (yellow), and a hard
Intercept (A)
streak below the gas sand (blue).

February, 2012 16
AVO Inversion

A very important new

tool combines Far Inversion
Inversion with AVO
Analysis to enhance
the reservoir

Near Inversion

February, 2012 17
Summary of AVO Methodology

Input NMO-corrected Gathers

Modeling Recon Inversion

Wave Zoeppritz Elastic LMR
Equation Impedance
Partial Intercept
Stacks Gradient Simultaneous
Attributes Inversion


February, 2012 18

 Seismic interpretation has evolved over the years, from strictly structural
interpretation, through “bright spot” identification, to direct hydrocarbon
detection using AVO.

 In this course we will elaborate on the ideas that have been presented in
this short introduction.

 As a starting point, the next chapter will discuss the principles of rock
physics in more detail.

 We will then move to AVO modeling.

 Finally, we will look at AVO analysis on real seismic data.

 In each case, we will first look at the theory and then perform a
workstation example.

February, 2012 19
Exercise 1
The Colony Gas Sand
Setting up the project
Exercise 1

Our first set of exercises comes from the Colony sand formation, a Cretaceous sand
from Western Canada.
P-wave Density S-wave Ratio
The target is a thin, 8 meter
thick, gas sand.

We have a single well with

measured sonic and
density logs.

The sand is known to

contain 50% water, and 50%

In this exercise, we will set

up the project and read in
the data.

February, 2012 21
Starting Geoview

Start the HRS9 Geoview program by clicking

HRS9 Geoview icon on your desktop:

When you launch Geoview,

the first window that you
see contains a list of any
projects previously opened
in Geoview. Your list will be
blank if this is the first time
you are running Geoview.

February, 2012 22
For this exercise, we will start a new
project. Before doing that, it will be
helpful to set all the data paths to point
to the location where we have stored
the workshop data. To do that, click the
Settings tab:

To change all of the directories to the same location, click on

the option Set all default directories and then click the button
to the right:

Then, in the File

Selection Dialog,
select the folder which
contains the workshop
February, 2012 23
After setting all three paths, the Geoview window will now show
the selected directories (note that yours may be different):

When you
have finished
setting all the
paths, click
Apply to store
these paths:

February, 2012 24
Now click the Projects tab and choose the option to create a
New Project:

February, 2012 25
A dialog appears,
where we set the
project name. We
will call it colony, as
shown. Enter the
project name and
click OK on that

February, 2012 26
Now a dialog appears, asking you the name of the database to use for
this project:

The database is used to store all the

wells used in this project. By default,
Geoview creates a new database, with
the same name as the project and
located in the same directory. For
example, this project is called
colony.prj, so the default database will
be called colony.wdb. This is desirable
since we were starting a new project,
intending to read in well logs from
external files. Occasionally, we may
want to use an existing database, which
has wells already stored. Then we
would click on the option Specify
database. For this exercise, click OK to
accept the default database name.
February, 2012 27
The Geoview Window now looks like

February, 2012 28
Loading the well log data

One part of the Geoview window (called

the Project Manager) shows all the
project data so far. The tabs along the
left side select the type of project data.
Right now, the Well tab is selected. It is
empty, since we have not yet loaded
any data

To load a well, click the button Import

Well, and select Logs, Check Shots,
Tops, …:

February, 2012 29
You need to select the file avo_well.las. Highlight the file name in the list of
available files on the left and then click the Select option:

Note that Geoview assumes

this file has an LAS format Now click OK to load this file in
because of the name LAS format:
February, 2012 30
The Geoview window now looks like this:

By default, the
program has
opened and
displayed all of
the available
log curves and
tops in the

February, 2012 31
One part of the window (called the
Project Manager) shows all the project
data so far. The tabs along the left side
select the type of project data. Right
now, the Well tab is selected and we can
see the well (AVO_WELL) which has
been loaded into the project. Click the
“+” sign near the well name to see a list
of curves in that well:

To see more details about the

wells, click the Data Explorer
tab to the right:

February, 2012 32
The window now changes as shown:

Click the arrow next to the well name

to get more information about the
curves in that well:

February, 2012 33
Note that all the well logs we saw in
the display are listed, as well as the
Depth-time_P-wave log, which was
created from the sonic log and will
be used for depth-to-time

Note that we can edit items in this

table. For example, if the Density
units were wrong, we could change
them here. Also, we can click the
arrow next to any of the curve
names to see the numerical values
in that curve:

February, 2012 34
Click on the arrow that is
pointing to the left to go
back to the previous
menu since we will not
be editing the density
values in this tutorial.

To the right of the workspace, we can

see a base map, showing the location of
the one well:

February, 2012 35
Below the base map are a series of
tabs. Clicking the Single Well Display

shows the curves for the selected well:

February, 2012 36
Finally, to see the most complete view
of the log curves within a well, double-
click the icon for that well within the
Project Data window:

This creates a new

tab within the main
Geoview window,
called the Wells tab,
which displays the
well curves:

February, 2012 37
You can adjust the well plotting parameters by
clicking the “eyeball” icon, to bring up a dialog for
that purpose:

You can also apply various log

processing options, like Log Editing, by
going to the Processes list:

For this workshop, we will assume that

the logs have been properly edited.

February, 2012 38
Loading the seismic data

We have now loaded the well which will

be used in the AVO Modeling process.
The next step is to load the seismic
volume, which we will compare with the
calculated synthetic.

On the far left side of the Geoview

window, click the Seismic tab:

The window to the right of this tab shows all

seismic data loaded so far. This is empty. Go
to the bottom of the window and click the
Import Seismic button:

On the pull-down menu, select From

SEG-Y File:

February, 2012 39
On the dialog that
appears, select the file

The selected file appears on the

right of the menu, as shown.
Click Next at the base of the

Set the Geometry Type to 2D and click


February, 2012 40
On the third page, we are telling the
program what information it can use from
the trace headers. In fact, in this data set,
there are X and Y coordinates. That is
why we answer Yes to this question:

Click Next to see the SEG-Y Format page:

By default, this page assumes that

the seismic data is a SEG-Y file with
all header values filled in as per the
standard SEG-Y convention. For
example, it expects to find the
Inline and Xline numbers at the byte
locations shown. If you are not
sure that is true, you can click
Header Editor to see what is in the
trace headers.
February, 2012 41
In our case, we believe the format
information is correct, so click Next to
move to the next page. Now the
following warning message appears
because the program is about to scan
the SEG-Y file:

Click Yes to begin the scanning

process. When the scanning has
finished, the Geometry Grid page

Because we have not read X-Y

information from the headers, the
program assumes this is a single
straight line, which is correct.

Click OK.
February, 2012 42
After building the geometry files, a new window appears, showing how
the well is mapped into this seismic volume.

In this case, the mapping is correct because we supplied the X-Y

location of the well, and there were X-Y coordinates in the seismic trace

If this information were

not correct, we could
manually locate the
well at the known CDP
location (330).

Click OK to accept the well location shown on this window.

February, 2012 43
Now the seismic data
appears within the

The workspace currently shows the single line, positioned at

the left, from this dataset. To see other parts of the line, slide
the scroll bar at the base of the display

February, 2012 44
To see the display positioned at the well
location, go to the Well icon and click
the down arrow :

The drop-down menu shows

the one well in the project.
Select the well and the
Geoview window shows the
seismic data in the vicinity of
that well location:

We can also modify other plotting parameters

by using the Seismic View Parameters
window. To make that window appear, click
the “eyeball” icon:
February, 2012 45
The Seismic View Parameters window
contains a series of pages which
control various aspects of the plotting.

To see the parameters for a specific

item, select that item from the list at the
left side. For example, here we have
selected the Inserted Wells item:

Let us (temporarily) insert the density log

by selecting that item as shown from the
pull-down tab of the Inserted Curve Log

February, 2012 46
Now click Apply on the Seismic View
Parameters window. The display is
modified accordingly:

We will continue the workshop with the

sonic log inserted. To do this, click
Cancel on the View Parameters window.
This redraws the Geoview window as

(End of Exercise 1)
February, 2012 47
Rock Physics & Fluid
Replacement Modeling
Basic Rock Physics

The AVO response is dependent on the properties of P-wave velocity (VP),

S-wave velocity (VS), and density (r) in a porous reservoir rock. As shown
below, this involves the matrix material, the porosity, and the fluids filling
the pores:

Rock Matrix Pores / Fluid

February, 2012 49

Density effects can be modeled with the following equation:

ρsat  ρm( 1  )  ρw S w  ρhc( 1  S w )

where : ρ  density,
  porosity,
S w  water saturation,
sat,m,hc, w  saturated, matrix,
hydrocarbon, water subscripts.

This is illustrated in the next graph.

February, 2012 50
Density versus Water Saturation

Here is a plot of density Density vs Water Saturation

vs water saturation for a Sandstone with Porosity = 33%
porous sand with the Densities (g/cc): Matrix = 2.65, Water = 1.0,
parameters shown, Oil = 0.8, Gas = 0.001
where we have filled the 2.2
pores with either oil or
gas. 2.1

In the section on AVO we

will model both the wet 1.9

sand and the 50%
saturated gas sand. 1.8
Note that these density 1.7
values can be read off
the plot and are: 1.6
rwet = 2.11 g/cc 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
rgas = 1.95 g/cc Oil Gas Water Saturation

February, 2012 51
P and S-Wave Velocities

This lead to two different types of velocities:

P-wave, or compressional wave velocity, in which the direction of
particle motion is in the same direction as the wave movement.
S-wave, or shear wave velocity, in which the direction of particle
motion is at right angles to the wave movement.

P-waves S-waves

February, 2012 52
P and S-Wave Velocities

Unlike density, seismic velocity involves the deformation of a rock as a

function of time. As shown below, a cube of rock can be compressed, which
changes its volume and shape or sheared, which changes its shape but not
its volume.

February, 2012 53
Velocity Equations using  and 

The simplest forms of the P and S-wave velocities are derived for
non-porous, isotropic rocks. Here are the equations for velocity
written using the Lamé coefficients:

  2 
VP  VS 
r r

where:  = the first Lamé constant,

 = the second Lamé constant,
and r = density.

February, 2012 54
Velocity Equations using K and 

Another common way of writing the velocity equations is with

bulk and shear modulus:

K  
VP  3 VS 
r r

where: K = the bulk modulus, or the reciprocal of compressibility.

=  + 2/3 
 = the shear modulus, or the second Lamé constant,
and r = density.

February, 2012 55
Poisson’s Ratio from strains
 If we apply a compressional R
force to a cylindrical piece of
rock, as shown on the right, we R+R
change its shape.
L+L L
 The longitudindal strain is given
by L/L and the transverse strain
is given by R/R.

F (Force)
 The Poisson’s ratio, s, is defined as the negative of the ratio
between the transverse and longitudinal strains:
s  (R / R) /(L / L)
(In the typical case shown above, L is negative, so s is positive)
February, 2012 56
Poisson’s Ratio from velocity

A second way of looking at Poisson’s ratio is to use the ratio of VP to VS,

and this definition is given by:

 2 2
s 2
2  2
where :  
This formula is more useful in our calculations than the formula given
by the ratio of the strains. The inverse to the above formula, allowing
us to derive VP or VS from s, is given by:

2s  2
 

2s  1
February, 2012 57
Poisson’s Ratio vs VP/VS ratio

Vp/Vs vs Poisson's Ratio

Poisson's Ratio

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Gas Case Wet Case Vp/Vs

February, 2012 58
Poisson’s Ratio

From the previous figure, note that there are several values of
Poisson’s ratio and VP/VS ratio that are important to remember.

If VP/VS = 2, then s = 0

If VP/VS = 1.5, then s = 0.1 (Gas Case)

If VP/VS = 2, then s = 1/3 (Wet Case)

If VP/VS = , then s = 0.5 (VS = 0)

Note also from the previous figure that Poisson’s ratio can
theoretically be negative, but this has only been observed for
materials created in the lab (e.g. Goretex and polymer foams).

February, 2012 59
Velocity in Porous Rocks
Velocity effects can be modeled by the volume average equation:

t sat  t m( 1  )  t w S w  t hc( 1  S w ) , where t  1 / V

Velocity vs Water Saturation

A plot of velocity vs water Wyllie's Equation
Porosity = 33%
saturation using the Vmatrix = 5700 m/s, Vw = 1600 m/s,
above equation. We used Voil = 1300 m/s, Vgas = 300 m/s.
a porous sand with the 3500

parameters shown and 3000

have filled the pores with Velocity (m/sec)
either oil or gas.
This equation does not
hold for gas sands, and
this lead to the 1000

development of the Biot- 500

Gassmann equations. 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Oil Gas Water Saturation

February, 2012 60
The Biot-Gassmann Equations

It has been found that the volume average equation gives incorrect results
for gas sands. Independently, Biot (1941) and Gassmann (1951), developed
a more correct theory of wave propagation in fluid saturated rocks,
especially gas sands, by deriving expressions for the saturated bulk and
shear moduli and substituting into the regular equations for P and S-wave
K sat  sat sat
VP _ sat  3 VS _ sat 
r sat r sat

Note that rsat is found using the volume average equation discussed
earlier, or:

ρsat  ρm( 1  )  ρw Sw  ρhc( 1  Sw )

February, 2012 61
The Biot-Gassmann Equations

To understand the Biot-Gassmann equations, let us update the figure we saw

earlier to include the concepts of the “saturated rock” (which includes the in-
situ fluid) and the “dry rock” (in which the fluid has been drained.)

Dry rock (pores full)
frame, or

Rock Matrix Pores and fluid

February, 2012 62
Biot-Gassmann - Shear Modulus

In the Hampson-Russell AVO program, Biot-Gassmann analysis is done

using the FRM (Fluid Replacement Modeling) option. Let us first look at
some theory and then consider several practical considerations when using
the FRM option.

In the Biot-Gassmann equations, the shear modulus does not change for
varying saturation at constant porosity. In equations:

sat  dry

where sat  the shear modulus of the saturated rock,

and dry  the shear modulus of the dry rock.

February, 2012 63
Biot-Gassmann – Saturated Bulk

The Biot-Gassmann bulk modulus equation is as follows:

 K dry 
1  
 K dry   Km 
(1) K sat
 1   K dry
  2
K fl Km Km
Mavko et al, in The Rock Physics Handbook, re-arranged the above
equation to give a more intuitive form:

K sat K dry K fl
(2)  
K m  K sat K m  K dry  ( K m  K fl )
where sat = saturated rock, dry = dry frame, m = mineral, fl = fluid,
and  = porosity.
February, 2012 64
Biot’s Formulation

Biot defines b (the Biot coefficient) and M (the fluid modulus) as:

K dry 1  b 
b  1 , and   ,
Km M K fl Km

Equation (1) then can be written as: K sat  K dry  b 2 M

If b = 0 (or Kdry = Km) this equation simplifies to: K sat  K dry

1  1
If b = 1 (or Kdry= 0), this equation simplifies to:  
K sat K fl Km

Physically, b = 0 implies we have a non-porous rock, and b = 1 implies we

have particles in suspension (and the formula given is called Wood’s
formula). These are the two end members of a porous rock.
February, 2012 65
The Rock Matrix Bulk Modulus

We will now look at how to get estimates of the various bulk modulus terms
in the Biot-Gassmann equations, starting with the bulk modulus of the solid
rock matrix. Values will be given in gigaPascals (GPa), which are
equivalent to 1010 dynes/cm2.

The bulk modulus of the solid rock matrix, Km is usually taken from
published data that involved measurements on drill core samples. Typical
values are:

Ksandstone = 40 GPa,

Klimestone = 60 GPa.

February, 2012 66
The Fluid Bulk Modulus

The fluid bulk modulus can be modeled using the following equation:

1 Sw 1  Sw
 
K fl K w K hc

where K fl  the bulk modulus of the fluid,

K w  the bulk modulus of the water,
and K hc  the bulk modulus of the hydrocarbon.

Equations for estimating the values of brine, gas, and oil bulk modulii are
given in Batzle and Wang, 1992, Seismic Properties of Pore Fluids,
Geophysics, 57, 1396-1408. Typical values are:

Kgas = 0.021 GPa, Koil = 0.79 GPa, Kw = 2.38 GPa

February, 2012 67
Estimating Kdry

The key step in FRM is calculating a value of Kdry. This can be done in
several ways:

(1) For known VS and VP, Kdry can be calculated by first calculating Ksat
and then using Mavko’s equation (equation (2)), given earlier.

(2) For known VP, but unknown VS, Kdry can be estimated by:

(a) Assuming a known dry rock Poisson’s ratio sdry. Equation (1) can
then be rewritten as a quadratic equation in which we solve for Kdry.

(b) Using the mudrock equation to estimate the wet case and then
using a procedure developed by Mavko et al. (Fluid Substitution:
Estimating changes in VP without knowing VS, Geophysics, Nov-Dec,
1995) to calculate the hydrocarbon case. (See Appendix 1)

February, 2012 68
Data Examples

 In the next few slides, we will look at the computed responses for
both a gas-saturated sand and an oil-saturated sand using the
Biot-Gassmann equation.

 We will look at the effect of saturation on both velocity (VP and VS)
and Poisson’s Ratio.

 Keep in mind that this model assumes that the gas is uniformly
distributed in the fluid. Patchy saturation provides a different
function. (See Mavko et al: The Rock Physics Handbook.)

February, 2012 69
Velocity vs Saturation of Gas

A plot of velocity vs water Velocity vs Water Saturation - Gas Case

Sandstone with Phi = 33%, Density as previous figure for gas,
saturation for a porous gas Kmatrix = 40 Gpa, Kdry = 3.25 GPa, Kw = 2.38 Gpa,
sand using the Biot-Gassmann Kgas = 0.021 Gpa, Shear Modulus = 3.3. Gpa.

equations with the parameters 2600

shown. 2400

In the section on AVO we will
model both the wet sand and 2000

Velocity (m/s)
the 50% saturated gas sand. 1800
Note that the velocity values
can be read off the plot and
are: 1400

VPwet = 2500 m/s 1200

VPgas = 2000 m/s 1000

VSwet = 1250 m/s 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1
VSgas = 1305 m/s
Vp Vs

February, 2012 70
Poisson’s Ratio vs Saturation of Gas

Poisson's Ratio vs Water Saturation - Gas Case

Sandstone with Phi = 33%, Density as previous figure for gas,
A plot of Poisson’s ratio vs Kmatrix = 40 Gpa, Kdry = 3.25 GPa, Kw = 2.38 Gpa,
water saturation for a porous Kgas = 0.021 Gpa, Shear Modulus = 3.3. Gpa.

gas sand using the Biot-

Gassmann equations with the
parameters shown.

In the section on AVO we will

Poisson's Ratio
model both the wet sand and
the 50% saturated gas sand.
Note that the Poisson’s ratio 0.2

values can be read off the plot

and are: 0.1

swet = 0.33
sgas = 0.12 0
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1


February, 2012 71
Velocity vs Saturation of Oil

Velocity vs Water Saturation - Oil Case

A plot of velocity vs water Sandstone with Phi = 33%, Density as previous figure for oil,
Kmatrix = 40 Gpa, Kdry = 3.25 GPa, Kw = 2.38 Gpa,
saturation for a porous oil Koil = 1.0 Gpa, Shear Modulus = 3.3. Gpa.

sand using the Biot-

Gassmann equations with
the parameters shown. 2400

Note that there is not much

Velocity (m/s)
of a velocity change.
However, this is for “dead” 1800

oil, with no dissolved gas 1600

bubbles, and most oil
reservoirs have some
percentage of dissolved 1200

gas. 1000
0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1

Vp Vs

February, 2012 72
Poisson’s Ratio vs Saturation of Oil

Poisson's Ratio vs Water Saturation - Oil Case

Sandstone with Phi = 33%, Density as previous figure for oil,

A plot of Poisson’s ratio vs Kmatrix = 40 Gpa, Kdry = 3.25 GPa, Kw = 2.38 Gpa,
Koil = 1.0 Gpa, Shear Modulus = 3.3. Gpa.
water saturation for a porous
oil sand using the Biot-
Gassmann equations with the
parameters shown. 0.4

Note that there is not much of

Poisson's Ratio
a Poisson’s ratio change.
However, again this is for
“dead” oil, with no dissolved 0.2

gas bubbles, and most oil

reservoirs have some 0.1

percentage of dissolved gas.

0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1


February, 2012 73
Cautions when using Gassmann


 Rocks with large Km and Kdry values (most carbonates) appear insensitive
to saturation changes in Gassmann theory.

 Gassmann assumed that pore pressure remains constant during wave

propagation. This implies fluids are mobile between pores and all stress
is carried by Kdry.

 This assumption is violated at “high frequencies” in highly variable and

compressible pore systems.

 Carbonates with an abundance of crack-type pores and heterogeneous

pore systems are not suitable for standard Gassmann theory.

February, 2012 74
Patchy Saturation

When multiple pore fluids are present, Kfl is usually calculated by a Reuss
averaging technique (see Appendix 2):
1 S w So S g
  
K fl K w Ko K g

This method heavily biases compressibility of the combined fluid to

the most compressible phase.
Kfl vs Sw and Sg
This averaging 3

Bulk modulus (Gpa)

technique assumes 2.5
uniform fluid 2
distribution! 1.5
-Gas and liquid must
be evenly distributed
0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1
in every pore.
Water saturation (fraction)

February, 2012 75
Patchy Saturation

When fluids are not uniformly mixed, effective modulus values cannot be
estimated from Reuss averaging. Uniform averaging of fluids does not

When patch sizes are large with respect to the seismic wavelength, Voigt
averaging (see Appendix 2) gives the best estimate of Kfl (Domenico, 1976):

K fl  S w K w  So Ko  S g K g

When patch sizes are of intermediate size, Gassmann substitution should be

performed for each patch area and a volume average should be made This
can be approximated by using a power-law averaging technique, which we
will not discuss here.

February, 2012 76
Patchy Saturation

Gassmann predicted velocities

Unconsolidated sand matrix
Porosity = 30%
100% Gas to 100% Brine saturation

Vp (km/s)

2.1 Patchy
1.9 Reuss
0 0.25 0.5 0.75 1
Water Saturation (fraction)
February, 2012 77
The Mudrock Line

The mudrock line is a linear relationship between VP and VS derived

by Castagna et al (1985):

VP  1.16 VS  1360 m / s

Note that for a constant Poisson’s ratio, the intercept is zero:

2s  2
2s  1

This will be illustrated in the next few slides.

February, 2012 78
The Mudrock Line

ARCO’s original mudrock derivation

(Castagna et al, Geophysics, 1985)
February, 2012 79
The Mudrock Line


Mudrock Line

Gas Sand
VP (m/s)


0 1000 2000 3000 4000
February, 2012 80
The Mudrock Line

s = 1/3 Mudrock Line
4000 VP/VS = 2

Gas Sand
VP (m/s)


0 1000 2000 3000 4000
February, 2012 81
The Mudrock Line


s = 1/3 or Mudrock Line
VP/VS = 2

Gas Sand
s = 0.1 or
VP/VS = 1.5

0 1000 2000 3000 4000
February, 2012 82
The Greenberg-Castagna method

Greenberg and Castagna (1992) extended the previous mud-rock

line to different mineralogies as follows, where we have now
inverted the equation for VS as a function of VP:

Sandstone : VS  0.856 km / s  0.804 VP

Limestone : VS  1.031 km / s  1.017 VP  0.055VP2
Dolomite : VS  0.078 km / s  0.583 VP
Shale : VS  0.867 km / s  0.770 VP

Using the regression coefficients given above, Greenberg and Castagna

(1992) first propose that the shear-wave velocity for a brine-saturated rock
with mixed mineral components can be given as a Voigt-Reuss-Hill
average (see Appendix 2) of the volume components of each mineral.

February, 2012 83
The Greenberg-Castagna method
To compute the shear-wave velocity of a rock with multiple
minerals and a known hydrocarbon component (i.e. SW < 1),
Greenberg and Castagna (1992) then propose the following
iterative scheme:
1. Estimate the brine-filled P-wave velocity. This is nothing more
than an initial guess.
2. Compute the S-wave velocity from the regression just given.
3. Perform Gassmann fluid substitution with the values from
steps 1 and 2 to compute the P-wave velocity for the SW < 1
case. This requires estimates of the moduli and density of
each component.
4. Based on the error between the measured and computed P-
wave velocities (for SW < 1), go back to step 1 and perturb the
estimate of the brine-filled P-wave velocity.
5. Iterate until the brine-saturated P-wave velocities agree.

The Greenberg-Castagna method will be used in the next exercise.

February, 2012 84
Using the Biot-Gassmann Equations

(1) Fluid Substitution

The basic use of the Biot-Gassmann equations is to “substitute” or replace the fluids
in a set of target layers with another set of fluids.

In this case, VP, VS, and ρ must all be known for the input logs, along with the fluid
content (SW). Generally all three logs are changed within the target zone.

Input Logs Output Logs

SW = 50% SW = 100%
February, 2012 85
Using the Biot-Gassmann Equations

(2) Calculating Vs

The second use of the Biot-Gassmann equations is to calculate a VS curve, which

has not been measured in the well. Either KDRY is assumed known or the mudrock
equation is assumed to hold for wet sands.

In this case, VP and ρ must both be known, along with the fluid content (SW). The VP
and ρ logs are unchanged, and a new VS log is created.
Input Logs Output Logs

ρ VP ρ VS
February, 2012 SW = 50% SW = 50% 86

 An understanding of rock physics is crucial for the interpretation of AVO


 The volume average equation can be used to model density in a water

sand, but this equation does not match observations for velocities in a
gas sand.

 The Biot-Gassmann equations match observations well for

unconsolidated gas sands.

 When dealing with more complex porous media with patchy saturation,
or fracture type porosity (e.g. carbonates), the Biot-Gassmann equations
do not hold.

 The ARCO mudrock line is a good empirical tool for the wet sands and

February, 2012 87
Exercise 2:
The Colony Gas Sand
Biot-Gassmann analysis
Exercise 2

Now that we have read in all the data necessary for the AVO
Modeling, we are ready to start the process.
First, look at the tabs to the left of the
Geoview window. You will see that one
of those tabs is called Processes. Click
on that tab to see a list of all the
operations which are available in
Geoview. Each of the processes can be
expanded. For example, if you click on
the AVO Modeling option, the following
expanded list is seen:
As we can see, the list includes Log
Processing options, Seismic Processing
options, AVO Modeling and Analysis tools,
Inversion options, etc. One way to do the
modeling would be to apply each of the
desired options in turn. That would be the
traditional approach.
February, 2012 89
We will use an alternate procedure in
this tutorial. We will use the pre-defined
Workflows. Click the Workflows tab.
The window changes like this:

Each of the items on this window

contains a complete workflow for the
specified process. Click on the item
called AVO Modeling. The window
changes like this:

We now see the suggested series of

steps to be followed for AVO Modeling.
The steps are colored red to indicate
that the parameters have not yet been
supplied. These are the “default” steps,
but the list can be edited and
customized, as we will see later.
February, 2012 90
Double-click on the first item Select
Well. An arrow will appear in front of
the item, as shown here:

Now a dialog appears on

the right with a list of all
wells in the project:

Since we have only loaded one well, that well

is selected. Note that at the lower right
corner of the dialog, there is a button for
importing more wells:
We do not need to import another well, so click Select on this dialog.
February, 2012 91
Now, double-click the second item on
the Workflow list, Select Logs:

The dialog on the right shows that for AVO Modeling, we need three log
Two of them, the P-wave velocity
(sonic log) and the Density curves
are available in the well. The
third, S-wave velocity, is not
present in the well and will be
computed in the next step.
Click Select on this menu to use the latest curves for the calculation:

February, 2012 92
Calculating the Shear Wave Log

Now double-click the third step on the

workflow, Shear Wave Estimation:
This step is necessary because a shear
wave velocity log is required to do AVO
offset modeling. However, like many
wells, this well does not include a
measured shear wave log. Therefore,
we must compute it now from the
existing sonic and density logs. If the
well had contained a measured shear
wave log, we could skip this step in the

The dialog on the right shows a series

of tabs, which must be completed in

February, 2012 93
The first tab specifies the location
of the Reservoir within the well:

This page is necessary because there

are two types of equations used,
depending on whether we are within the
hydrocarbon zone or outside in the wet
background. This page specifies the
Reservoir or hydrocarbon zone. The
actual equations are described on the
next page. A convenient way of
specifying the zone is to use the
formation tops, which have been
imported from the LAS file. These tops
have been called TOP_GAS and
BASE_GAS for this well. Alternatively,
we could specify the depth range

February, 2012 94
Now click the Velocity tab:

Here we see that the P-wave

velocity is coming from the
sonic log in the well:

For the S-wave velocity, two

calculations will be used, one
for the samples within the
reservoir, and the other for
samples outside the reservoir:

These calculations are

explained in greater detail in
the tabs below:

February, 2012 95
Now click the Density tab:

This tab appears because the density and porosity of the reservoir are
related by the Volume Average Equation:

ρsat  ρm( 1  )  ρw S w  ρhc( 1  S w )

By default, with a measured density log, the porosity will be

calculated. Alternatively, with a measured porosity log, the
density can be calculated. Finally, the option exists to use both
measured density and porosity logs, and that requires a
calculation of the matrix density.

February, 2012 96
Now click the In-Situ Fluid tab:

On this page, we specify the fluid

properties within the reservoir. The first
thing we specify is the relative
concentrations of fluid:

February, 2012 97
In this case, we have told the program that the reservoir is 50%
brine and 50% gas. This is assumed known about the reservoir.
Alternatively, we could use a water saturation log, if available.
Change the saturations as shown above.

Lower on the menu page we have the

parameters for the density and bulk
modulus of the fluids:

February, 2012 98
We can also calculate the fluid
properties using empirical

but for this tutorial, we will skip this

calculation, so unselect that check box:

February, 2012 99
Now click the Matrix tab:

This page specifies the matrix

properties within the reservoir.
The top part is grayed out – i.e.,
disabled – because we have
chosen to use the Greenberg-
Castagna equations within the
reservoir. Those equations require
a mixture of minerals, which we
specify below:

Note that, since we do not have any volumetric logs in the well,
our only option is to specify constant percentages for the whole
reservoir zone. By default, the specification is 100% sand for the
reservoir, which we will accept for this tutorial.

February, 2012 100

Finally, click the Output tab:

Here we specify the name of the output

S-Wave velocity curve we will create.
We also can click the QC Display button
to see some of the internal calculations
within the reservoir:

This plot can help show any major

problems with the model.

Now click Run to create the S-Wave

velocity log:
February, 2012 101
The Geoview window now includes the
calculated shear wave log:

(End of Exercise 2)
February, 2012 102
AVO Theory & Zoeppritz
P and S-Waves

(a) (b) (c)

The above diagram shows a schematic diagram of (a) P, or compressional,

waves, (b) SH, or horizontal shear-waves, and (c) SV, or vertical shear-waves,
where the S-waves have been generated using a shear wave source. (Ensley,
February, 2012 104
From P and S-Waves to AVO

 In the previous slide, the P and SH-waves were generated at the

surface by P and S-wave sources. We could use the differences
between the recorded P and S reflections to discriminate gas-filled
sands from wet sands, using the properties discussed in the last

 However, most seismic surveys record P-wave data only, and S-wave
data is not available.

 As shown in the next slide, if we record P-wave data at an angle greater

than zero, we produce mode conversion from P to S-wave data.

 The objective of this course will be to utilize mode conversion both

quantitatively and qualitatively.

February, 2012 105

Mode Conversion of an Incident
If q > 0°, an incident P-wave will produce both P and SV reflected and
transmitted waves. This is called mode conversion.
Incident SV-wave = RS(q1)
1 P-wave = RP(q1)

VP1 , VS1 , r1
VP2 , VS2 , r2 q2
2 Transmitted
P-wave = TP(q1)
February, 2012 SV-wave = TS(q1) 106
Utilizing Mode Conversion

But how do we utilize mode conversion? There are actually two ways:

(1) Record the converted S-waves using three-component receivers

(in the X, Y and Z directions). Note that when we analyze the
converted waves, we need to be very careful in their processing and

(2) Interpret the amplitudes of the P-waves as a function of offset, or

angle, which contain implied information about the S-waves. This is
called the AVO (Amplitude versus Offset) method.

In the AVO method, we can make use of the Zoeppritz equations, or some
approximation to these equations, to extract S-wave type information
from P-wave reflections at different offsets. Before discussing these
equations, the next figures shows a typical set of gathers over a gas sand
and intuitively explain the relationship between offset and angle.

February, 2012 107

A Data Example

The box in the top

figure shows the
“stacked” traces
corresponding to the
five P-wave gathers
shown in the bottom

Notice that the

amplitudes in the
gathers over the
highlighted region
show an increase in
amplitude as a
function of offset.
This is called an AVO
(Amplitude Variation
with Offset) effect.

February, 2012 108

Angle and Offset

Source Offset Receiver


Angles q2 q1

r1 VP1 VS1 Reflector

r2 VP2 VS2
Common mid-point

Seismic data is recorded as a function of offset. However, as shown above,

there is a direct relationship between angle and offset, which depends on
velocity. We can model these amplitude changes using either the full
Zoeppritz equations or the linearized Aki-Richards approximation.
February, 2012 109
The Zoeppritz Equations

To explain the amplitude change we saw in the mode conversion slide and
on the seismic gathers, Zoeppritz derived the amplitudes of the reflected
and transmitted waves using the conservation of stress and displacement
across the layer boundary, which gives four equations with four
unknowns. Inverting the matrix form of the Zoeppritz equations gives us
the exact amplitudes as a function of angle:

  sin q1  cos 1 sin q 2 cos 2 
 RP (q1 )  cos q  sin 1 cos q 2  sin 2   sin q1 
 R (q )   1   cos q 
 S 1    sin 2q VP1 r 2VS 22VP1 r 2VS 2VP1   1 
cos 21 sin 2q 2 cos 2
 TP (q1 )   1
VS 1 r1VS1VP 2
2   sin 2q1 
     
 S 1   cos 21
VS 1 r 2VP 2 r 2VS 2 
T ( ) sin 21 cos 22  sin 22   cos 2 1
 VP1 r1VP1 r1VP1 

February, 2012 110

The Zoeppritz Equations at 0 degrees

Although the Zoeppritz equations look intimidating, in the case of normal

incidence (0 degrees) the equations give us the following simple values for
the reflection and transmission coefficients (see Appendix 3 for the
mathematical details):

RS (0o )  RS 0  0, TS (0o )  TS 0  0,
r 2VP 2  r1VP1
RP (0 )  RP 0 
r 2VP 2  r1VP1
2 r1VP1
TP (0 )  TP 0 
 1  RP 0 .
r 2VP 2  r1VP1
These equations tell us that there is no S-wave component at zero angle,
and the reflection and transmission coefficients are related to changes in
the acoustic impedance (P-velocity x density).

February, 2012 111

The Zero Angle Trace

We can think of the zero angle trace on a P-

wave gather as a set of reflection coefficients
corresponding to the changes in acoustic
impedance (density x P-velocity) at each
interface. The equation is below, and an Zi
illustration is on the right. This is not the
complete story, as the reflectivity is
convolved with a wavelet. Zi+1

Z Pi 1  Z Pi
RP 0i = ,
Z Pi 1  Z Pi
where :
Z Pi  r iVPi  impedance,
r  density.
February, 2012 112

Convolution with the seismic wavelet, which can be written mathematically

as S = W*R, is illustrated pictorially below:

* = + + + + =>

W = Wavelet

R = Reflection S = Seismic
Coefficients Trace
February, 2012 113
The A-B-C equation

To model the amplitude changes as a function of angle for a single layer, we

can either use the full Zoeppritz equations given earlier, or the linearized
Aki-Richards equation, which will be discussed later in more detail. We will
show that there are several equivalent versions of this equation, but the
most common is written in the following form:

RP (q )  A  B sin 2 q  C tan 2 q sin 2 q , where :

1   VP r 
2 2
1  VP VS   VS VS  r
A  RP (0 )  
  , B   4    2   ,
2  V p r  2 Vp VP  VS VP  r
1  VP
and C  .
2 Vp
A is the linearized zero-offset reflection coefficient and (see Appendix 4)
is called the intercept, B is the gradient, and C the curvature. This
equation tells us that as the angle increases, so does the effect of S-wave
February, 2012 114
A two-layer model

We can use the previous equation to model the top and base of a simple
sand. The figure on the left below shows the wet case and the one on the
right shows the gas case, using values computed in our rock physics section.
Notice the difference between using two terms and three terms in the

February, 2012 115

AVO Class 3

The model curves just shown for the gas case were for a Class 3 AVO
anomaly, of which the Colony sand we are considering is an example.

Here is a set of modeled well logs for a Class 3 sand, with the computed
synthetic (using all three terms in the A-B-C equation) on the right. Note that
the P-wave velocity and density (and thus the P-impedance) decrease in the
gas sand, the S-wave velocity increases, and the VP/VS ratio decreases. The
synthetic shows increasing amplitude versus offset for both the overlying
trough and underlying peak. The far angle is 45o.

February, 2012 116

AVO Class 2

As will be discussed later, there are several other AVO classes, of which
Class 1 and 2 are the most often seen.

Here is a Class 2 example well log, where the P-impedance change is very
small and the amplitude change on the synthetic is very large. Note that the
VP/VS ratio is still decreasing to 1.5, as expected in a clean gas sand (recall
the discussion in the rock physics section).

February, 2012 117

AVO Class 1

Here is a Class 1 well log example, where the P-impedance change is now
an increase and the amplitudes on the synthetic are seen to change
polarity. Again, the VP/VS ratio is still decreasing to 1.5, as expected in a
clean gas sand.

The figure on the next slide compares all three classes and also shows the
picked amplitudes.

February, 2012 118

The three AVO Classes

A comparison of the
synthetic seismic
gathers from the three
classes, where the top
and base of the gas Class 1 Class 2 Class 3
sand have been picked.
The picks are shown at time (ms)
the bottom of the
display and clearly
show the AVO effects.

These synthetics were

created at the same
time, but in practice

class 1 sands are deep,

class 2 sands are at
medium depths and
class 3 sands are at
shallow depths.
February, 2012 119
Multi-Layer AVO Modeling

We are usually interested in modeling a lot more than one or two layers.
Multi-layer modeling in the AVO program consists first of creating a stack
of N layers, generally using well logs, and defining the thickness, P-wave
velocity, S-wave velocity, and density for each layer, as shown below:

February, 2012 120

Multi-Layer AVO Modeling

You must then decide what effects are to be included in the model: primaries
only, converted waves, multiples, or some combination of these.

February, 2012 121

AVO Modeling Options

There are three main options for the modeling process:

Zoeppritz – Primaries only, using the Zoeppritz equations for


Aki-Richards – Primaries only, using the Aki-Richards equations

for calculation.

Elastic Wave – Computation of the full elastic wave solution (with

optional anelastic effects), which includes primaries, converted
waves, and multiples.

February, 2012 122

AVO Modeling
P-wave Density S-wave Synthetic Offset Stack

Based on AVO theory and the rock physics of the reservoir, we can perform AVO
modeling, as shown above. In this case, we have used the Aki-Richards equation in the
modeling. Note that the model result is a fairly good match to the offset stack.
Let us now do an exercise where we will perform this modeling.
February, 2012 123
Exercise 3:
The Colony Gas Sand
Creating Zoeppritz Synthetics
Exercise 3

Now double-click the fourth step on the

workflow, Select Seismic:

We need the seismic data for these steps

in the AVO Modeling workflow:
•To extract a wavelet.
•To correlate the well, i.e., to optimize the
depth-time relationship between well and
•To compare with the resulting synthetic.
On the dialog on the right, we see a
list of the seismic volumes which
have been loaded into the project.
Since there is only one volume, that
has been selected:

Click Select to accept the volume


February, 2012 125

Now the seismic data
appears inserted within
the Wells tab:

The next step is to apply the process

Extract Statistical Wavelet, by double-
clicking that option:

February, 2012 126

There are two basic methods for extracting the wavelet. One method uses
the wells, and can give a good estimate of both amplitude and phase
spectra of the wavelet. However, that method cannot be used until the
well is correlated, i.e., until the proper depth-time relationship has been

The second method – called “statistical” – uses the seismic data

alone to extract the wavelet. This method will estimate the amplitude
spectrum from the seismic data, but we must make an assumption
about the phase – typically we assume the data are zero phase. In
this step, we are extracting a statistical wavelet.

The dialog on the right shows the range

of data to analyze:

February, 2012 127

By default, the program will examine
the entire data volume, but this is
rarely appropriate. In particular, we
want to set a time window around the
zone of interest. Change the dialog
to extract just using the limited time
window shown below:

When you have changed the dialog as

shown above, click Run to extract the
The extracted wavelet appears in its
own pop-up window:

Note that the time domain response is

in the upper window, while the
amplitude and phase spectra are in the
lower window.
February, 2012 128
Note also this small button at the lower
right of the wavelet window:

If you click that

button, the wavelet
window will be
“docked” within its
own Wavelets tab:

This is a handy way to keep track of any window

created within Geoview. To release the wavelet
window from its tab, click on the “airplane” at the
lower right of the wavelet window:
February, 2012 129
All the windows created within Geoview can
be docked or floated in this way. Finally,
send the wavelet window back to the
wavelets tab by clicking the Wavelets button
once again:

The next step in the workflow is to

Correlate the Well, so double-click that

February, 2012 130

The process of log correlation examines the current depth-time conversion
and optimizes it so that the derived synthetic matches the seismic optimally.

A dialog appears, specifying which seismic

volume will be used for the correlation
process, and how the composite trace will
be extracted from that volume:

The composite trace is created by

averaging the traces around the borehole
location we are using for the seismic
correlation. For a vertical well, such as
this one, that means averaging a selected
set of neighboring traces around the
borehole. By default this is plus or minus
1 inline or crossline.
For this tutorial, we will accept the defaults. Click OK on this
February, 2012 131
The Log Correlation Window
now appears:

The blue traces on this

display are copies of the
synthetic trace. This trace
was calculated from the sonic
and density logs in this well,
the depth-time curve
currently stored in the
database, and the wavelet we
have previously extracted.

The red traces are repeated copies of

the average (or composite) trace
extracted from the seismic data.
The plot at the upper right shows the
cross correlation between the synthetic
trace and the composite trace:
February, 2012 132
That correlation result depends on the
analysis window. We can improve the
calculation by changing this window. The
cross correlation window defaults to be
the largest possible window containing
both the synthetic and real trace. We
should narrow the analysis to the region
where the log tie is best:

Set the start time to 500, as shown

above and click on Apply. The
correlation plot now shows a maximum
correlation of 66%.
It also suggests that the synthetic
should be shifted down by 50 ms. That
information is also displayed on the
menu bar at the base of the window:
Click Apply Shift to apply the suggested 50 ms shift.
February, 2012 133
The correlation plot now looks like this:

The Cross Correlation window now

shows a roughly symmetrical peak at
zero Lag Time, with a maximum
correlation of 65%

February, 2012 134

From this we can conclude that we have
a good correlation for this well. Click
OK to accept this correlation.

A dialog pops up suggesting a name for

the new sonic log we have created by
the log correlation process. Even
though this process, by default, has
only changed the depth-time curve and
not the actual sonic log, Geoview
calculates a new sonic log (identical to
the previous) as a place holder for
identifying the new depth-time curve.
Click OK to accept that new name:

February, 2012 135

Identifying scenarios and creating synthetics

The next step in the Workflow is Extract wavelet using wells. We very
often perform that step within the Log Correlation Window. In this
case, we will assume the zero-phase statistical wavelet is adequate, so
we will skip that step here.

Double-click the step after, Identify Scenarios:

February, 2012 136

By “scenarios”, we mean the geologic
conditions which we wish to model.
Each scenario is a different fluid
combination within the target

At least one scenario must be chosen

– the in situ scenario which is present
in the logs. In addition, we can model
up to 4 other scenarios. In the figure
above, we have chosen Pure Oil and
Pure Brine, as well. Note that in
addition to specifying pure
hydrocarbons, we can specify any
combination of the 3 components
using the Ternary diagram. Set the
dialog as shown above, and click Run.

February, 2012 137

The display is now modified to show the
3 scenarios for each of the P-wave, S-
wave, Density, and Poisson’s Ratio

Now double-click the next step on

the workflow, Create Synthetics:

February, 2012 138

The dialog on the right shows that, by
default, Zoeppritz ray-tracing will be used
to calculate the synthetics:

The range and distribution of offsets has

been automatically set to be consistent
with the real data being used:

The wavelet is the most recently extracted:

Also, note at the bottom of the dialog a

button for viewing all the Advanced

For this tutorial, click Run to create

synthetics using the default parameters.

February, 2012 139

The three synthetics look like this:

The last step of the AVO Modeling

Workflow is AVO What Ifs:

February, 2012 140

This step is used after the synthetics have been created. Here we can
interactively modify various parameters and see their effects on the calculated

The dialog on the right contains all

the parameters used to generate the
in-situ synthetic.

For example, the in-situ fluid

saturation is 50% brine and 50% gas:

That can be modified to contain any combination of

the 3 components.

Another interesting change is to modify the thickness of the target layer.

The dialog currently shows the reservoir thickness as 7 meters:

February, 2012 141

To see the effect of thickness change, change the thickness to 20
meters, as shown here:

The display does not immediately change. To produce the new

synthetic click the Preview button:

Now the display is modified to produce new log curves (with a thicker
reservoir) and a new synthetic:

February, 2012 142

By default, the model changes are not calculated until the Preview button
is clicked. This is because some calculations may take a while. However,
by selecting the Interactive Preview option, you can force the model to be
updated immediately after every change.

Finally, the model changes are normally temporary and disappear as soon
as the dialog is closed. You can save the current model by clicking the
Save Results button.

For this tutorial, just Close the menu, without saving any results:

February, 2012 143

Modifying and saving the workflow

We have now completed the AVO Modeling Workflow. The last

process we will examine in this tutorial is customizing and saving a
new workflow.

Currently, the AVO Modeling Workflow

looks like this:

One of the items, Extract wavelet using

wells, is still colored red, because we
did not explicitly perform that step. We
might wish to create a new workflow,
with that item removed.

February, 2012 144

To do that, select the item, Extract
wavelet using wells, and right-click:

On the pop-up, select the item Remove

process. Click OK on this dialog which

February, 2012 145

The new workflow now appears under
the User tab:

Note that the original workflow is still

saved under the Default tab.

Sometimes we might wish to

add a process. For example,
select the item Extract statistical
wavelet on the User tab, and
right click as shown:

Select Insert New Processes

Below and double-click Check
Shot Correction.

February, 2012 146

Now we have added the process of
applying a Check Shot Correction
before doing Log Correlation:

As it stands, the new customized

workflow is only available within this
project. To make it available to other
projects and other users, we need to
export the workflow.

February, 2012 147

To do that, right click anywhere on the
workflow, and click Export Workflow
and Parameters:

On the dialog which appears, give the

new workflow a name, like Test , and
click OK:

February, 2012 148

We have now saved the new workflow, and the
parameters used in this project, to two separate
files. To import the saved workflow and
parameters into a new project, click on the Import
Workflow button at the top of the Workflow
On the dialog which appears, we see the two
files which have been created:
The file with the shorter name,
Test_workflow.xml, is the list of process
names in the new workflow. This is the file
we need to import if we wish to use the
chosen steps in a new project.
The other file, TestAVOModelingParameter_parameter.xml, is the complete
list of parameters used in this current project. If we import this second file,
as well as the first, the dialogs which are created will have exactly the same
parameters as used previously. Thus, the combination of both files together
will be a reproducible history of the project.
February, 2012 149
Double-click each of the files named
above. The right side of the dialog now
changes to this:

If we now click OK, we will import both

the list of processes and their
parameters. For this tutorial, click
Cancel on this dialog.

(End of Exercise 3)

February, 2012 150

Elastic Waves and
Multi-Layer AVO Modeling

As we saw at the end of the previous theory section, multi-layer modeling

in the AVO program consists first of creating a stack of N layers, generally
using well logs, and defining the thickness, P-wave velocity, S-wave
velocity, and density for each layer.
February, 2012 152
Elastic Wave Modeling

Elastic Wave Modeling is the exact solution for a plane wave propagating
through a series of layers.

The theory has been available for a number of years and is described in
Kennet(1979, 1980).

The calculation is done in the frequency domain, so the user must specify
a frequency range, which affects the run-time.

Ideally, the modeling should include all effects, such as multiples and
converted waves. In principle, these can be turned off, but that may
produce instability.

Elastic Wave Modeling can model critical and post-critical events.

February, 2012 153

Zoeppritz – Elastic Wave Comparison

Zoeppritz Elastic wave

Primaries x x
Multiples x
Converted Waves x
Refractions x
Anisotropy (VTI) x x
Frequency dependent absorption x

Higher order move-out x

Post-critical events x
Fast computation x

The following example, taken from a paper by Simmons and Backus (1994),
illustrates the difference between Zoeppritz and Elastic modeling.

February, 2012 154

The Oil Sand Model

Simmons and Backus used the thin bed oil sand model shown above.

February, 2012 155

The Possible Modeled Events

Simmons and Backus (1994)

February, 2012 156
Responses to Various Algorithms

(A) Primaries-only Zoeppritz, (B) + single leg shear, (C) + double-leg shear,
(D) + multiples, (E) Wave equation solution, (F) Linearized approximation.

Primaries only Zoeppritz

+ single leg shear

+ double leg shear

+ multiples

Wave equation

Simmons and Backus (1994)
February, 2012 157
Zoeppritz vs Elastic Wave Summary

 EW Modeling models a wider range of effects, including

multiples and converted waves.

 Zoeppritz Modeling is much faster than EW Modeling.

 For thin layer models, the results may be significantly different.

 EW Modeling should always be more accurate than Zoeppritz

Modeling, if the input parameters are correct.

 However, EW Modeling may be more sensitive to log editing


February, 2012 158

Anisotropic AVO
In an isotropic earth P and S-wave velocities are independent of angle.

However, in an anisotropic earth, velocities and other parameters are

dependent on direction, as shown below.



In particular, we will consider the cases of Transverse Isotropy with a

vertical symmetry axis, or VTI, and Transverse Isotropy with a Horizontal
symmetry axis, or HTI . In particular, the HTI model gives us a way to model
azimuthal AVO, or AVAZ.
February, 2012 159
Anisotropic AVO
The figure below, from Ruger, illustrates the difference between the VTI and
HTI models of anisotropy.

From “Reflection Coefficients and Azimuthal AVO Analysis in Anisotropic

Media” by Andreas Ruger, SEG Geophysical Monograph No. 10, 2002
The VTI model consists of horizontal layers and can be extrinsic, caused
by fine layering of the earth, or intrinsic, caused by particle alignment as in
a shale. The HTI model consists of vertical layers and is caused by parallel
vertical fractures or steeply dipping shales (see Appendix 5).
February, 2012 160
Velocities for the VTI case

Although the equations for full anisotropy are quite complex, Thomsen
(1986) showed that for weakly anisotropic materials the velocities in VTI
media are dependent on the parameters , , and  , called Thomsen’s

Here is Thomsen’s original definition of the velocities as a function of his


VP (q )  VP (0o ) 1   sin 2 q cos 2 q   sin 4 q 

 V 2
(0 o
) 2 
VSV (q )  VSV (0 ) 1  2 o (   ) sin q cos q 
o P 2

 VSV (0 ) 
VSH (q )  VSH (0o ) 1   sin 2 q 

February, 2012 161

Thomsen’s Parameters

Thomsen’s parameters are simply combinations of the differences between

the P and S velocities at 0, 45, and 90 degrees. The following relationships
can be derived quite easily using the velocities in the previous slide:

VP (90o )  VP (0o ) VSH ( 90 o )  VSH ( 0 o )

 
VP (0o ) VSH ( 0 o )

VP ( 45 o )  VP ( 0 o )  VP ( 45 o )  VP ( 0 o ) 
  4 o         4 o 
 V P ( 0 )   V P ( 0 ) 

In the next slides, we will look at the AVO response as a function of

angle for different values of  and . (As mentioned, VSH will not be
used in AVO).

February, 2012 162


Thomsen (1993) showed that VTI terms could be added to the Aki-Richards
equation using his weak anisotropic parameters  and , where Ran(q ) is the
anisotropic AVO response and Ris(q ) is the isotropic AVO response.

Ruger (2002) gave the following form of Thomsen’s original equation:

 
Ran (q )  Ris (q )  sin q 
sin 2 q tan 2 q ,
2 2
where :    2  1 , and    2   1.
   2    2
or : Ran (q )  A   B   sin q  C   sin q tan 2
 2   2 

February, 2012 163

Typical Values for Delta, Epsilon and Gamma

Typical values for , , and  were given by Thomsen (1986). Here are some
representative values from his table:

Lithology VP(m/s) VS(m/s) rho(g/cc) epsilon delta gamma

sandstone_1 3368 1829 2.50 0.110 -0.035 0.255

sandstone_2 4869 2911 2.50 0.033 0.040 -0.019

calcareous sandstone 5460 3219 2.69 0.000 -0.264 -0.007

immature sandstone 4099 2346 2.45 0.077 0.010 0.066

shale_1 3383 2438 2.35 0.065 0.059 0.071

shale_2 3901 2682 2.64 0.137 -0.012 0.026

mudshale 4529 2703 2.52 0.034 0.211 0.046

clayshale 3794 2074 2.56 0.189 0.204 0.175

silty limestone 4972 2899 2.63 0.056 -0.003 0.067

laminated siltstone 4449 2585 2.57 0.091 0.565 0.046

February, 2012 164


Blangy (1997) computed the effect of anisotropy on VTI models of the three
Rutherford-Williams type. Blangy’s models are shown below, but since he
used Thomsen’s formulation for the linearized approximation, his figures
have been recomputed in the next slide for the wet and gas cases using
Ruger’s formulation. The slide after that shows our example.

February, 2012 165

VTI – AVO Effects

Class 1
Class 1
 = -0.15
 = -0.3
Class 2
Class 2

Class 3

Class 3

--- Anisotropic
(a) Gas sandstone case: Note (b) Wet sandstone case:
that the effect of  and  is Note that the effect of  and
to increase the AVO effects.  is to create apparent AVO
February, 2012 166
VTI Applied to Colony Example

Isotropic vs Anisotropic AVO

Gas Sand Top,  = -0.15,  = -0.3


0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
Angle (degrees)

R (Isotropic) R (Anisotropic)

February, 2012 167

VTI AVO Model Example

In the above display, we have added simple  and  logs to the sonic
and density logs from the Colony gas sandstone play in Alberta. Notice
that only the gas sand is isotropic.
February, 2012 168
Anisotropic AVO Synthetics

(a) Isotropic (b) Anisotropic (a) – (b)

In this display, the synthetic responses for the logs shown in the
previous slide are shown. Note the difference due to anisotropy.
February, 2012 169
Exercise 4:
The Colony Gas Sand
Elastic Wave Modeling
Exercise 4

In the previous exercise, we used Zoeppritz ray-

tracing to create synthetics corresponding to a
series of lithologic scenarios. In this exercise,
we will use elastic wave modeling.

We could do that by changing the AVO Modeling

workflow. Instead, we will use the Processes
list. To see that list, click on the Processes tab:

Then, from the list, expand the AVO Modeling

item and double click Create AVO Synthetics:

February, 2012 171

On the menu which appears, we
see that all the parameters have
been saved from our previous
Zoeppritz synthetic.

As shown, change only the two

items – the Algorithm is Elastic
Wave and the Output Name is
modified to include the word

When you have changed these

items, click on OK to create the
new synthetic.

February, 2012 172

The new elastic wave synthetic is plotted in
the Geoview window.

By default, the original synthetics are no

longer visible. We would like to see both
the new elastic wave synthetic and the
original Zoeppritz synthetic.

An easy way to add components to the

window is to drag-and-drop from the
Project Data list. Click on the Project
Data tab and the Seismic side-tab, as
shown. Then select the Zoeppritz
synthetic, which was called In-

February, 2012 173

Holding the left mouse button down, drag the name (In-situ_AVO_WELL) over
between the elastic wave synthetic and the real data display. You will know
where you are dropping it, because of the green vertical line which appears.
Release the mouse button and the original synthetic is added to the display.

February, 2012 174

The new elastic wave
synthetic is plotted along with
the previous Zoeppritz
synthetics. We can see
significant differences in
character due to the elastic
wave modeling. In particular,
the elastic wave model looks
more noisy and does not
display the AVO anomaly as

February, 2012 175

A very convenient tool for analyzing the
amplitudes of individual events is AVO Gradient

To start that, select the Processes tab and double-

click the item on the Processes list:

On the menu which appears, first set the

Input as the in-situ synthetic which was
originally created. Then click the Specify
Velocity button:

February, 2012 176

The menu which appears is used
to set the velocity field for the
AVO attribute calculation. In this
case, we used a single P-wave
log. So, select that item and click
OK on this menu.

Then, click OK on the bottom of the

Gradient Analysis menu:

February, 2012 177

The display which
appears shows the in-
situ synthetic along with
a series of picked

The picks are not quite

correct, since we have
not specified the location
of the target event.

First, improve the synthetic

display by clicking on Fit to

February, 2012 178

Now, cllick on the trough
corresponding to the top of the gas
sand at around 630 ms:

The display should change to this,

showing the picked events from the
synthetic along with an AVO curve.
If your display looks quite different,
try clicking close to the event again.

February, 2012 179

There are many useful options associated with the AVO
Curve display, which we will study in a later exercise. For
now, we will use the display to compare the picked
amplitudes between the two synthetics. To bring in the
second synthetic, click on View 2, as shown:

On the menu which appears,

set the Input for View 2 to be
the Elastic Wave synthetic
we just created. Then click
Apply at the base of the

February, 2012 180

Now the two synthetics
appear, with the two sets of

We can create more space for

the Gradient Analysis display by
temporarily removing the Project
Manager. To do that, click the
“x” as shown:
February, 2012 181
The Gradient Analysis display
will now look like this:

As we saw on the synthetic

displays, the curve for the
Elastic Wave synthetic does
not show as much AVO
variation as the Zoeppritz

We can see this even better by

normalizing the amplitudes of
the near traces.

To do that, click on Tie


February, 2012 182

Now we see clearly the difference in
AVO behavior:

Of course, we want to compare these

curves with the real data event. To see
that, click to turn on View 3:

February, 2012 183

On the menu which appears, we
must select the input (gathers),
and also specify which CDP to
show. Click the down arrow and
select the well location:

When you are done, the menu will

look like this. Click Apply at the
base of the window.

February, 2012 184

Once again, click Tie Intercepts to force all
the intercepts together.

Now we see that the real data event

and the Zoeppritz model lie
practically on top of each other.

This confirms that the Zoeppritz

model is a very good representation
of the real response.

(End of Exercise 4)
February, 2012 185
AVO Analysis on Seismic

 Although the Zoeppritz equations give us the exact amplitudes as a

function of angle, the equations themselves do not lend themselves to an
intuitive understanding of the AVO process for angles greater than zero

 For that reason, although modeling should be done with the Zoeppritz
equations, most AVO theory for analyzing real data is based on a
linearized approximation to the Zoeppritz equations initially derived by
Bortfeld (1961) and then refined by Richards and Frasier (1976) and Aki
and Richards (1980).

 The equations on the next few slides will show various equivalent
formulations of the Aki-Richards equations.

 We will then develop an intuitive understanding of these equations using

the rock physics model developed in the first section.

February, 2012 187

The Aki-Richards Equation

The Aki-Richards equation is a linearized approximation to the Zoeppritz

equations. The initial form of this equation separated the velocity and
density terms:
 VP  VS r
RP (q )  a b c , where :
2VP 2VS 2r
r 2  r1
a  1  tan q ,
2 r , r  r 2  r1 ,
 VS 
VP 2  VP1
b  8  sin 2 q , VP  , VP  VP 2  VP1 ,
 VP 
V  VS 1
V 
2 VS  S 2 , VS  VS 2  VS 1 ,
c  1  4 S  sin 2 q , 2
 VP  q q
and q  1 2 .
As we will see when we get to the section on Elastic Impedance (EI), this
is the form of the equation that was used in the derivation of EI.

February, 2012 188

Understanding Aki-Richards

To understand the Aki-Richards equation, let us look at a picked event

at a given time on the 3 trace angle gather shown below:

Constant Angle
o o o Each pick at time t and angle q is equal to
0 15 30 the Aki-Richards reflectivity at that point
600 ms
(after convolution with an angle-dependent
t Picks wavelet) given by the sum of the three
weighted reflectivities. If we assume that at
time t, (VS/VP)2= 0.25, we see that:
700 ms
 VP r
RP (0 o ) 

Note : sin 0 o  tan 0 o  0 
 VP  VS r
RP (30 o )  1.333  0.500  0.750
2VP 2VS 2r
Note : sin 2

30 o  0.25 and tan 2 30 o  0.333
February, 2012 189
Wiggins’ Form of the Aki-Richards
An equivalent, but algebraically reformulated, form of the Aki-Richards
equation was derived by Wiggins et al. (1983). They separated the equation
into three reflection terms, each weaker than the previous term:

RP (q )  A  B sin 2 q  C tan 2 q sin 2 q , where :

1   VP r 
2 2
1  VP VS   VS VS  r 1  VP
A    , B   4    2   , C  .
2  V p r  2 Vp VP  VS VP  r 2 Vp

This is often considered to be “the” AVO equation. A is called the intercept,

B the gradient, and C the curvature. Note that A is identical to the
linearized zero-angle reflection coefficient, which we called RP(0o) in the
previous slide.

Also, the physical interpretation of this equation is the same as the

previous slide except that the weights are now 1, sin2q, tan2q sin2q, and
the physical parameters are A, B and C.
February, 2012 190
Fatti et al’s Formulation of the
Aki-Richards Equation
An third equivalent form of the Aki-Richards equation was formulated by
Fatti et al. (Geophysics, September, 1994) and is written:

RP (q )  c1 RP (0o )  c2 RS (0o )  c3 RD , where :

c1  1  tan 2 q , c2  8(VS / VP ) 2 sin 2 q , c3  4(VS / VP ) 2 sin 2 q  tan 2 q ,
1   VP r  1   VS r  r
RP (0 )  
  S
, R ( 0 o
)     , and R  .
r  r  r
2  VP 2  VS

Note that the RP(0o) term given above is identical to the A term in the
previous equation. Also, the first two scaling terms are identical to those in
the original Aki-Richards equation. This equation will be used later in the
course as the basis for independent and simultaneous pre-stack inversion.

The physical interpretation of this equation is the same as for the original
Aki-Richards equation except that the weights are now c1, c2, c3, and the
physical parameters are RP(0o), RS(0o) and RD.
February, 2012 191
A Summary of the Aki-Richards

All three forms of the Aki-Richards equation consist of the sum of three
terms, each term consisting of a weight multiplied by an elastic parameter
(i.e. a function of VP , VS or r). Here is a summary:

Equation Weights Elastic Parameters

 VP  VS r
Aki-Richards a, b, c , ,
2VP 2VS 2 r

Wiggins et al. 1, sin 2 q , tan 2 q sin 2 q A, B, C

Fatti et al. c1 , c2 , c3 RP (0o ), RS (0o ), RD

Note that the weighting terms b, c and c2, c3 contain the squared VS/VP ratio as
well as trigonometric functions of q. However, in the Wiggins et al.
formulation, this term is in the elastic parameter B.
February, 2012 192
Physical Interpretation
A physical interpretation of the three equations is as follows:

(1) Since the seismic trace consists of changes in impedance rather than
velocity or density independently, the original form of the Aki-Richards
equation is rarely used.
(2) The A, B, C formulation of the Aki-Richards equation is very useful for
extracting empirical information about the AVO effect (i.e. A, which is
called the intercept, B, called the gradient, and C, called the curvature)
which can then be displayed or cross-plotted. As pointed out in the
previous slide, explicit information about the VP/VS ratio is not needed
in the weights.
(3) The Fatti et al. formulation gives us a way to extract quantitative
information about the P and S reflectivity which can then be used for
pre-stack inversion. As shown in Appendix 1, the terms RP0 and RS0
are the linearized zero-angle P and S-wave reflection coefficients.

February, 2012 193

Wet and Gas Models

Let us now see how to get from the geology to the seismic using the
second two forms of the Aki-Richards equation. We will do this by using
the two models shown below. Model A consists of a wet, or brine, sand,
and Model B consists of a gas-saturated sand.

VP1,VS1, r1 VP1,VS1, r1

VP2,VS2, r2 VP2,VS2, r2

(a) Wet model (b) Gas model

February, 2012 194

Model Values

In the section on rock physics, we computed values for wet and

gas sands using the Biot-Gassmann equations. Recall that the
computed values were:

Wet: VP2 = 2500 m/s, VS2= 1250 m/s, r2 = 2.11 g/cc, s2 = 0.33

Gas: VP2 = 2000 m/s, VS2 = 1310 m/s, r2 = 1.95 g/cc, s2 = 0.12

Values for a typical shale are:

Shale: VP1 = 2250 m/s, VS1 = 1125 m/s, r1 = 2.0 g/cc, s1 = 0.33

The next four figures will show the results of modeling with the
ABC and Fatti equations. On these four figures, the curves have
been calculated as a function of incident angle and scaled to
average angle.

February, 2012 195

Zoeppritz vs the ABC Method –
Gas Sand

This figure on the right

shows the AVO curves AB method
computed using the
Zoeppritz equations
and the two and three
term ABC equation, for
the gas sand model. ABC method
Notice the strong
deviation for the two
term versus three term Zoeppritz

February, 2012 196

Zoeppritz vs the ABC Method –
Wet Sand

This figure on the

right shows the AVO
curves computed
using the Zoeppritz
equations and the ABC method
two and three term
ABC equation, for
the wet sand model. Zoeppritz

Again, notice the

strong deviation for
the two term versus
three term sum. AB method

February, 2012 197

Zoeppritz vs the Fatti Method –
Gas Sand

This figure on the

right shows the AVO
curves computed
using the Zoeppritz
equations and the
two and three term
Fatti equation, for Fatti method,
the gas sand model.
two term
Notice there is less
deviation between
Fatti method,
the two term and three term
three term sum than
with the ABC

February, 2012 198

Zoeppritz vs the Fatti Method –
Wet Sand

This figure on the

right shows the AVO
curves computed
using the Zoeppritz Zoeppritz
equations and the two
and three term Fatti Fatti method,
equation, for the wet
two term
sand model.

As in the gas sand

case, there is less
deviation between the Fatti method,
two term and three three term
term sum than with
the ABC approach.

February, 2012 199

The Two-Term Aki-Richards Equation

Intercept / gradient analysis is done with the two-term Aki-Richards equation.

Recall that:

R( q )  A  B sin 2 q
where we have dropped the C term and define A and B as:

1   VP r 
2 2
1  VP VS   VS VS  r
A   , B  4   2  ,
2  V p r  2 Vp VP  VS VP  r

or, using Shuey’s approximation (Appendix 6):

 1  2s  s  VP / VP
B  A D  2( 1  D )   , D  .
 1s  ( 1s ) 2
 VP / VP  r / r
February, 2012 200
The Two-Term Aki-Richards Equation

It is common practice to use only 2 terms because:

(1) It simplifies the analysis considerably

(2) For angles less than about 40 degrees, the third term is not significant, as
shown previously:

February, 2012 201

Estimating the Intercept and

Our objective is to determine values for A and B by analyzing real seismic


Step 1 involves converting from offset to angle.

Step 2 involves fitting a regression line to the amplitude picks as a function

of the sine of the angle squared.

The next two slides will illustrate this in simple fashion.

February, 2012 202

Converting from Offset to Angle
450 Offset (m) 6000 0 Angle (degrees) 90

The offset
domain is the The angle domain
conventional represents a
CDP stack with theoretical
each trace at a acquisition
different geometry in which
offset. The each trace
acquisition corresponds to a
geometry is constant incidence
shown below. angle.

February, 2012 203

Converting from Offset to Angle

Conversion from offset to angle can be done using one of these options:
(1) Straight ray assumption (constant velocity)
(2) Ray Parameter approximation (variable velocity approximation)
(Reference: Walden, 1991, Making AVO sections more robust: Geophysical
Prospecting, 39 , no. 7, 915-942.)
(3) Ray-tracing (variable velocity)

(1) Straight Ray :

(2) Ray Parameter :
tan q   , XVINT
2d Vt0 sin q  2 ,
where X  offset ,
where VINT  Interval velocity,
d  depth  , t  total traveltime.
t0  2  way time,
VRMS  RMS velocity.

February, 2012 204

Converting from Offset to Angle
Ray Ray
Tracing Parameter

The Ray Parameter method is

usually used when analyzing
seismic data.

This is because it is much faster

than Ray Tracing.

Because of the approximations, it

begins to degrade slightly at
angles greater than 50 degrees.

The example on the right shows 65 65

angle contours calculated using
Ray Tracing and Ray Parameter.

35 43 50 35 43 50
February, 2012 205
Common Offset Picks as
Function of sin2q

The pick amplitudes are extracted at all

times, two of which are shown.



Time -B
The Aki-Richards equation predicts a
linear relationship between these
amplitudes and sin2θ.

Regression curves are then

calculated, to give A and B values for
each time sample.
February, 2012 206
Intercept: A
The result of this
calculation is to
produce 2 basic
attribute volumes

Gradient: B

February, 2012 207

Derived Attributes

The raw A and B attribute volumes are rarely used in that form. Instead,
other AVO attributes are usually calculated from them.

The most popular AVO attributes are:

(1) AVO Product : A*B

(2) Scaled Poisson’s Ratio Change : A+B
(3) Shear Reflectivity : A-B
(4) Fluid factor

Note that the full mathematical way of extracting attributes is given in

Appendix 7.

February, 2012 208

Derived Attributes AVO Product :
Many AVO anomalies have the form
shown at the right.

In this case, both the intercept (A) and

the gradient (B) are large numbers or
“bright”. Also, they have the same
sign. +A
This is an example of a Class 3
Forming the product of A and B, we
get: -B
Top of sand : (-A)*(-B) = +AB
Base of sand : (+A)*(+B) = +AB

This gives a positive “bright” response

at both top and base.
February, 2012 209
Derived Attributes: AVO product

The AVO product shows a positive response at the top and base of the



February, 2012 210

Derived Attributes
Scaled Poisson’s Ratio Change : A+B

The second combination is derived from Shuey’s equation:

RP (q )  A  B sin 2 q , where :
1   VP r   1  2s  s
A    , B  A  D  2(1  D )   ,
2  V p r   1  s  (1  s ) 2

VP / VP s 2  s1
D ,s  , and s  s 2  s 1.
VP / VP  r / r 2

If we assume the background Poisson’s Ratio = σ = 1/3, then:

 1 s
B  A D  2(1  D)    2.25s  A
 2  (2 / 3) 2

or: A  B  2.25s The sum A+B is proportional to the

change in Poisson’s Ratio.

February, 2012 211

Derived Attributes
Scaled Poisson’s Ratio Change : A+B

The AVO sum (A+B) shows a negative response at the top of the reservoir
(decrease in σ) and a positive response at the base (increase in σ):



February, 2012 212

Derived Attributes
Shear Reflectivity : A-B

The third combination is derived from the Aki_Richards equation:

RP (q )  A  B sin 2 q  C tan 2 q sin 2 q , where :

  VP r 
2 2
 VP  VS   VS  VS  r
A   and B   4   2  .
 2V p 2 r  2V p VP  VS VP  r
If we assume the background VS /VP = 1/2, then:

 VP  VS r   VP r    VS r 
B         RP 0  2 RS 0 ,
2V p VS 2 r  2V p 2 r   VS r 
  VP r    VS r 
where : RP 0  A     and RS 0    
 p
2 V 2 r   SV r 

or: RS  0.5 A  B  The difference A-B is proportional to

the Shear Reflectivity.
February, 2012 213
A-B Difference Attribute

The AVO difference (A-B) shows an increase in Shear Impedance at the top
of the reservoir. This calculation is usually done with the more accurate
Fatti equation, which we will see next.



February, 2012 214

RP and RS Attributes

An alternate form of the Aki-Richards equation was formulated by Fatti et al.

(Geophysics, September, 1994) which can be written (for 2 terms) as:

RP (q )  c1 RP (0o )  c2 RS (0o ), where :

c1  1  tan 2 q , c2  8(VS / VP ) 2 sin 2 q ,
1   VP r  1   VS r 
RP (0 )  o
  and RS (0 )  
 .
2  VP r  2  VS r 
This allows us to calculate RP0 and RS0 volumes from seismic data in exactly
the same way as A and B volumes.

Again, note that the full mathematical way of extracting attributes is given in
Appendix 7.

February, 2012 215

RP0 and RS0 Attributes


February, 2012 216

RP0 and RS0 Attributes

The RP0 and RS0 attributes are usually transformed into one of 2 new

(1) Fluid Factor, which will be discussed next.

(2) AVO Inversion or Lambda-Mu-Rho, which will be discussed in

a later section.

February, 2012 217

Derived Fluid Factor Attribute
The Fluid Factor attribute (Smith and Gidlow, 1987, Fatti et al., 1994) is
based on Castagna’s mudrock equation, which is assumed to be true for
non-hydrocarbon filled layers:
VP  1.16 VS  1360 m / s
Using calculus, we can derive the following equivalent equation:
VP  VS  VS
VP  1.16VS  Divide by Vp   1.16 
VP  VP  VS
The Fluid Factor is defined to highlight layers where Castagna’s equation
does not hold, i.e., potential hydrocarbon zones:

VP V  VS V 
F   1.16 S  , or : F  RP  1.16 S  RS
VP  VP  VS  VP 
 VS 
Note that the factor 1.16  is often customized to fit the local data.
 VP 
February, 2012 218
Mudrock Line

- Castagna et al (1985)
cross-plotted Vp vs. Vs

S-wave velocity (km/s)

for different types of
sedimentary rocks 3 gas
- „mudrock‟ line for fluid 2 water
saturated sandstones
- deviations from the
Mudrock line
mudrock line indicate
other lithologies and 1 2 3 4 5
pore fluids
P-wave velocity (km/s)
Fluid Factor attribute
The AVO Fluid Factor shows a strong deviation from the mudrock trend at
both the top and base of the 15 m Colony reservoir. Fluid Factor anomalies
also appear for two stacked gas sands above the main Colony reservoir.
The carbonate under the Paleozoic unconformity also deviates from the
from the mudrock trend. Note the different polarity in this case (red over
blue instead of blue over red).


Base Top Colony

Base Colony

Top Carbonate

Downton, Russell & Lines, 2001

Exercise 5
The Colony Gas Sand
Calculating AVO Attributes
Exercise 5

So far, in our analysis, we have used the AVO

Modeling Workflow to create AVO synthetics.
We will now turn to the analysis of the real
seismic data.

One way to do that is to use the AVO Attribute

Analysis workflow, shown in the list of
standard Workflows.

We will do that in the 3-D AVO exercise later

in the course.

For this exercise, we will use the standard

Processes list.

February, 2012 222

To start that, click the tab called
Processes. You will see a list of all the
operations which are available in
Geoview. Each of the processes can be
expanded. For example, if you click on
both the Seismic Processing and AVO
Analysis options, the following
expanded list is seen:

February, 2012 223

CDP Stack

To start, we will create a CDP stack.

Click next to the Stack option in the
Seismic Processing submenu to see the
two types of stack available, and
double-click CDP Stack:

Now the parameters for this process

appear on the right:

February, 2012 224

There are some features of this dialog which are common to all
Process Parameter dialogs. For example, there is a location to specify
the input and output files names:

There is a section to specify the data

range to process. By default, it is the
entire volume:

For example, we could choose to stack

only a limited range of offsets:

February, 2012 225

By default, only the most critical parameters for this process are
specified on this page. To see the more advanced option, click the
button at the base of the menu:

This produces a series of extra tabs, which control in detail the

process to be performed. Note that these will differ from one
process to the next.

At the top of the menu, there is a small

icon showing an “airplane”:

Click that icon and the Parameter Dialog

detaches from the Geoview window to
allow it to be moved aside, making the
data more visible. Clicking the
“airplane” again re-attaches the dialog.:

February, 2012 226

At the base of the Parameter Dialog, we see a series of buttons:

If we click the Run Batch button, that will create a batch file which
could run the process later. That is often helpful for long, computer-
intensive processes. For now, click OK to start the CDP stack process
as usual.

When the process

finishes, the Geoview
window looks like this –
a split window showing
both the input and
output volumes:

February, 2012 227

Modifying the seismic display

The default split-screen display is very

useful for looking at the results, but
there are many modifications possible.

For example, you can increase the

available plot space by clicking the “x”
on the Project Manager window, as
shown, to temporarily hide that window:

To restore the Project Manager window,

click its name to the left:

February, 2012 228

You can also temporarily hide one of
the views. For example, click on the
first icon shown below to temporarily
hide View 1, which shows the input

To restore View 1, click it again:

Click the fourth button to set the

orientation horizontally:

Click the fourth button again to restore

the vertical orientation:

February, 2012 229

Finally, to see the most complete
control of the seismic display, right-
click on either of the seismic windows.
A pop-up menu appears:

One of the items is View>Seismic View


If you click this item, a dialog

appears, allowing complete
control of the display:

To continue this tutorial,

click Cancel on this dialog.

February, 2012 230

Super Gather

The next process we will apply is Super Gather. Super Gather is the
process of forming average CDPs to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio.
We do the averaging by collecting similar offset traces within adjacent
CDPs and adding them together. This process reduces random noise,
while maintaining amplitude versus offset relationships.

We could find the Super Gather on

Process list as we did before, but now
we will use a little trick to speed up
that search.

Notice that at the top of the Processes

tab, there is a box called Filter. This is
used to quickly find a process in the

Type in the word “gather”, as shown.

Now, the list is reduced to two entries:

February, 2012 231

Double-click Super Gather

On the Super Gather Parameter dialog,

the only changes we will make are to
set the Input name to gathers and to
change the Size of Rolling Window to 5:

This means that five adjacent CDP’s will be summed to give each output
CDP. Notice that the program has defaulted to create output bins with
11 offsets each. This was chosen because that is the average fold of the
input gathers. When you have changed these parameters, click OK to
run the process.
February, 2012 232
The result looks like this:

Notice that the gathers look

cleaner and more
consistent, with a
pronounced AVO anomaly at
around 630 ms.

Now we will display the

range of incident angles as
a color display.

On the window showing the

Super Gather, right-click and
select Color Data Volume and
Incident Angle:

February, 2012 233

We can see from this display that the maximum
incident angle at the zone of interest (630 ms) is
around 30 degrees. That information will be used in a
later step.

February, 2012 234

Picking the pre-stack data

In this step, we will pick an event at the zone of interest and display those
picks to observe the AVO anomaly.

We will pick the Super Gather volume.

First, turn off the color display by right-
clicking on that display and selecting
Color Data Volume > none:

Then, hide View 1, so that the Super

Gather display fills the window:

February, 2012 235

Now select Horizon > Pick Horizons:

On the dialog which appears, we must

specify which data set we are picking.
We are picking the Super Gather in View
2, so this field must be modified:

The final dialog looks like this. Click

OK to start the picking process:

February, 2012 236

A series of controls appears at the base of the seismic window. These are
used for the picking process:

One item, called Mode, determines how

picks will be created using mouse

The Rubber Band Mode means that if you click somewhere, then
hold the left mouse button down, move the mouse along the
section and release the button, picks will be created in the
region of the “rubber band” which appears between the mouse
clicks. That is very useful for detailed picking.

February, 2012 237

For a very clean data set like this one, a convenient mode is Left & Right
Repeat. In this case, you would click a point that you interpret as being part
of the horizon. This becomes the seed point. Picks will be created
throughout the entire line based on this point.

We wish to pick the Trough which

shows the AVO anomaly at around 630
ms. Change both the Mode and Snap
parameters as shown:

Then position the mouse cursor anywhere near the trough at 630
ms and click once:

February, 2012 238

The entire event should be picked like this:

If your display looks different, check your Mode and Snap parameters
and click again. There is no need to delete the original picks. They
will be automatically replaced.

If we wished to pick a second event, we would select Horizon > New

Horizon from the picking dialog.

In this case, we are happy with the

single event, so click OK to complete
the picking process:
February, 2012 239
Now that we have picked the event,
we would like to see a display of the
picked amplitudes. To do that, right-
click and select View > Show Pick

February, 2012 240

On the Pick Attribute Option dialog
which appears, choose the option to
Show Pre-stack Picks With Gradient
Analysis. This option is based on the
two term Aki-Richards equation.

Click Next several times to accept all

the defaults for this analysis. The
second to last page confirms that we
are using the Two Term Aki-Richards
equation and the velocity field we
have defined previously:

Finally, click Next and OK to get the

Pick Analysis display.

February, 2012 241

This display shows the
original pick values (in
blue) and the calculated
Aki-Richards curves (in
red). By scrolling through
the data volume, we can
see that the AVO behavior
is most pronounced in the
vicinity of the well and
flattens out as we move

To remove the Pick Analysis display,

right click on the display window and
toggle OFF the display:

February, 2012 242

Angle Gather

In this step, we transform from the offset to

angle domain. From the Processes tab,
double-click Angle Gather:

On the Angle Gather Parameters dialog, we

see that we are transforming the volume
super_gather into the new volume

We know from a previous display that the

maximum angle is about 30 degrees, so we
will change the maximum Angle To to 30,
as shown. Also, note that we are using the
velocity field set up in a previous step.

When you have modified the Angle Gather

Parameters dialog as shown, click OK to
run the Angle Gather process.
February, 2012 243
When the process has
completed, the Geoview
window shows the
calculated Angle

February, 2012 244

AVO Gradient Analysis

The next step we will perform is AVO Gradient

Analysis. The purpose of this process is to
analyze the AVO behavior of one or more events
at a particular CDP. To start that process,
double click AVO Gradient Analysis:

On the dialog which appears, we specify

the Input Volume as the super_gather. We
also tell the program that we are analyzing
the CDP near the well, which is CDP 330:

Default all the remaining parameters by

clicking OK at the base of the dialog:

February, 2012 245

The display which appears shows the
seismic gather at CDP 330, along with
AVO pick values for the default initial
time, which is at the centre of the gather
time scale:

The first thing we can do is improve the time

scale of the gather data. One quick way to do
that is to select the Fit to View check box:

To zoom in more, click the Zoom In

button one or more times:

February, 2012 246

Right now, the analysis is being performed at the
arbitrary time of 550 ms:

We would like to analyze the AVO

anomaly at around 630 ms. So, position
the mouse cursor near the trough at 630
ms and click the left mouse key:

The display should now look like this:

February, 2012 247

The red line on the seismic display shows the
time location at which the amplitudes have been
extracted. Those amplitudes are plotted as red
squares on the right-hand graph. The curve
which has been fit through the picks is a plot of
the Aki-Richards two-term equation. We can
confirm this by the information at the top of the
By clicking various time locations on the gather,
we could see the equivalent picks and curve for
any other event on the gather. Actually, it can
often be helpful to see two events at the same
time. To do this click the Two Events toggle ON:

Now, to make the second event appear,

click near the strong peak below the
target trough:

February, 2012 248

Now the display should look like this:

Notice that we are seeing a classic

class 3 AVO anomaly with amplitudes
increasing for both the trough at the
top of the sand (red) and the peak at
the base of the sand (green). Notice
also that the fit of the AVO curves is
extremely good. Mathematically, this
is expressed by the normalized
correlation between the picked
amplitudes and the curves, printed at
the top of the graph:

If we wish to see the same information

at other neighboring CDP’s we can
modify this selection item:
February, 2012 249
Notice, also, that the AVO curves are plotted as a
function of Offset, because we have used the
super_gather as input. We can see the same plot
as a function of angle this way: Go to this
selection box at the top of the graph and change
to Angle:

Now we see that the maximum angle for

this event is about 30 degrees, as we
observed when creating the angle

At the base of the graph we see a series

of tabs. One of them, for example,
allows us to access the Parameters,
which control the calculation of the Aki-
Richards curves:
February, 2012 250
Another interesting display is the Cross
Plot of calculated Gradient against
Intercept. This is accessed by clicking
the Cross Plot tab:

The background trend points have been

extracted from sample values near the
event time around the well location.
The red and green squares correspond
to the calculated Intercept/Gradient
values for the selected events. Note
that the locations of these squares are
consistent with the interpretation of this
anomaly as a class 3 AVO anomaly.

February, 2012 251

AVO Attribute Volume

Now that we have examined the AVO

anomaly using AVO Gradient analysis, we
will apply the calculation to the entire
volume to see the distribution of AVO
anomalies. To start that, double-click
AVO Analysis > AVO Attribute Volume:

The AVO Attribute process uses the two or

three term Aki-Richards equation to
extract AVO attributes from the seismic
data. The attributes are based on
combinations of intercept, gradient and
curvature, as defined by the Aki-Richards

On the Parameter dialog on the right,

we see the input and output volumes for
this process:
February, 2012 252
Because we have created an angle gather volume, this will be used as input. Note
that the original offset gathers or super gathers could also be used, but then a
velocity field would be needed to convert from offset to angle during this
calculation. As output, the program will create several volumes, depending on the
Type of Analysis. For the default case of two-term Aki-Richards analysis, the
volumes will be called avo_a and avo_b, corresponding to the intercept and

Looking further down the Parameters

dialog, we see that the default Type of
Analysis is the Two Term Aki-Richards:

That is appropriate for this case because we only have incident

angles less than 30 degrees. In order to reliably extract three terms
we need high angle data, usually exceeding 45 degrees. Click OK to
extract the AVO Attributes using the default parameters.

February, 2012 253

When the process
completes, the calculated
attributes appear in a split

The window showing the AVO Attributes actually

contains two separate volumes. The annotation
at the top of the window shows what is currently

The wiggle trace data is the calculated Intercept (A). The color data is
currently the product of intercept and gradient (A*B). Since this is a class 3
AVO anomaly, we can see a strong positive response at the top and base of
the reservoir at 630 ms.
February, 2012 254
Actually, the response is currently
obscured a little by the horizon which is
drawn over it. Temporarily remove that
horizon from the display by right clicking
and selecting View > Seismic View

On the Seismic View Attributes dialog,

select Horizons and No Horizons, as

Then click OK. The seismic display now

clearly shows the positive AVO response
at the top and base of the reservoir.

February, 2012 255

To see another combination of
attributes in color, right-click in that
window as shown:
Select Scaled Poisson’s Ratio Change. This
is the sum (A+B), which is roughly
proportional to the change in Poisson’s
Ratio. This produces this attribute plot:

At the top of the reservoir, we can see a strong negative response

(orange), indicating a drop in Poisson’s Ratio, while at the base of
the reservoir we see a positive response (yellow), indicating an
increase in Poisson’s Ratio.
February, 2012 (End of Exercise 5) 256
Cross-Plotting AVO
Attributes and the Third
Order Term
AVO Cross-Plotting

AVO cross-plotting involves plotting the intercept against the gradient and identifying
anomalies. The theory of cross-plotting was developed by Castagna et al (TLE, 1997,
Geophysics, 1998) and Verm and Hilterman (TLE, 1995) and is based on two ideas:

(1) The Rutherford / Williams Classification Scheme.

(2) The Mudrock Line.

Rutherford/Williams Classification
Rutherford and Williams (1989) derived the following classification scheme for AVO
anomalies, with further modifications by Ross and Kinman (1995) and Castagna (1997):
Class 1: High impedance sand with decreasing AVO
Class 2: Near-zero impedance contrast
Class 2p: Same as 2, with polarity change
Class 3: Low impedance sand with increasing AVO
Class 4: Low impedance sand with decreasing AVO

February, 2012 258

Rutherford/Williams Classification

The classification depends only on the

contrast in Acoustic Impedance between
the target sand and the surrounding Acoustic Impedance =
shales: ρVP




Class 1 Class 2 Class 3

February, 2012 259
Rutherford/Williams Classification

These are the generic AVO curves at the top of the gas sand:

February, 2012 260

An Example of a Class 1 Anomaly

(a) Data example.

(b) Model

Rutherford and
Williams (1989)

February, 2012 261

Angle Stacks over Class 2 & 3 Sands

(a) Class 2 sand. (b) Class 3 sand.

Rutherford and
Williams (1989)
February, 2012 262
Class 2 & 3 Sands

Class 2 sand. Class 3 sand.

February, 2012 263

Class 4 Anomalies

Castagna (1995) suggested that for a very large value of A, and a small
change in Poisson’s ratio, we may see a reversal of the standard Class 3
anomaly, as shown below. Castagna termed this a Class 4 anomaly. Here is
a simple example using Shuey’s approximation:

B  s  A,
(1) If s  0.3 and A  0.1, then B  -0.575 (Class 3)

(2) If s  0.1 and A  0.3, then B  0.075 (Class 4)

February, 2012 264

Here is Figure 7 from Castagna
et al (1998), which illustrates
the concept of the Class 4
anomaly in more detail.

February, 2012 265

The Mudrock Line

The mudrock line is a linear relationship between VP and VS derived by

Castagna et al (1985). The equation is as follows and the plot from their
original paper is shown below:
VP =1.16 VS+1360 m/sec

February, 2012 266

Intercept vs Gradient Crossplot

By using the Aki-Richards equation, Gardner’s equation, and the ARCO

mudrock line, we can derive a relationship between intercept and gradient.
Recall that:
2 2
1   VP r  1  VP VS   VS VS  r
A    B  4   2  ,
2  V p r  2 Vp VP  VS VP  r

r 1  VP
Gardner : 
r 4 VP

If we assume that VP = cVS, then we can derive the following relationship:

4  9
B A1  2 
5  c 
February, 2012 267
Now let us use a few values of c and see how the previous equation
simplifies. If c = 2, the most commonly accepted value, the gradient is the
negative of the intercept (a -45 degree line on a crossplot):

4  9
B A1     A
5  4

If c = 3, the gradient is zero, a horizontal line on the crossplot of intercept

against gradient:

4  9
B A1    0
5  9
Various values of c produce the straight lines (“wet” trends) shown on
intercept / gradient crossplots on the next page.

February, 2012 268

Mudrock lines on a
crossplot for various
VP/VS ratios (Castagna and
Swan, 1998).

February, 2012 269

By letting c = 2 for the background wet trend, we can now plot the various
anomalous Rutherford / Williams classes (as extended by Ross and Kinman
and Castagna et al)

Note that each of the classes will plot in a different part of the intercept /
gradient crossplot area.

The anomalies form a rough elliptical trend on the outside of the wet trend.

This is shown in the next figure.

February, 2012 270

Base II P Base II

Base I
Base III

Top IV
Base IV

Top III Top I

Showing “Wet” Trend
Anomalies  Vp 
Top II Top II P   2 
 Vs 
February, 2012 271
ARCO Examples of Cross-Plotting

(a) Cross-plot of well log derived A and B. (b) Cross-plot of seismically derived A and B.

The “scatter” on the seismically derived data can be attributed to:

(1) VP/VS Ratio variability

(2) Wavelet interference.
February, 2012 Foster et al (1993) 272
Intercept / Gradient Cross-Plots

(a) Uninterpreted gas zone

(b) Interpreted gas zone

February, 2012 273
Seismic Display from A/B Cross-Plots

(a) Before interpretation

(b) After interpretation

February, 2012 274
Polarization and the AVO Hodogram

 One of the major causes of “scatter” on seismically derived cross-plots is

wavelet interference.

 One approach to reducing wavelet interference is to use the AVO

hodogram (Keho et al: The AVO hodogram: Using polarization to identify
anomalies, TLE, November, 2001 and Mahob and Castagna: AVO
hodograms and polarization attributes, TLE, January, 2002).

 This is available in the display options, after the A and B attributes have
been extracted.

 Although we will not discuss the theory here, the full theory is given in
Appendix 8.

February, 2012 275

Three Term AVO

As mentioned previously, one problem in AVO and crossplot analysis is that

only the first two terms of the Aki-Richards equation are usually extracted
from the CDP gathers. Recall that the full Aki-Richards equation, as shown
below, has three terms:

R(q )  A  B sin 2 q  C tan 2 q sin 2 q

1   VP r 
where: A  RP 0   
2  VP r 
 VP  VS r
B  4  2
2Vp VS r
 VP VS 
C , and     .
2Vp VP 
February, 2012 276
An alternate form of the Aki-Richards equation was formulated by Fatti et
al. (Geophysics, September, 1994) which can be written:

RP (q )  c1 RP (0o )  c2 RS (0o )  c3 RD ,
where : c1  1  tan 2 q , c2  8(VS / VP ) 2 sin 2 q ,
c3  4(VS / VP ) 2 sin 2 q  tan 2 q ,
1   VP r  1   VS r 
RP (0 )  
 , RS (0 )  
 ,
2  VP r  2  VS r 
and RD  .
Either the A, B, C or the RP, RS, RD terms can be extracted from the seismic
gathers using a least-squares fitting technique with different weighting
February, 2012 277
Density Term

Both forms of the Aki-Richards equation can allow us to estimate density

Using the original A,B,C form, we see that:
1   V r   VP  r
AC   P    
2  VP r  2V p 2r

This means that if we can estimate all three coefficients, we can generate a
density attribute volume.

That can be very valuable since density is a direct measure of hydrocarbon

saturation. This could solve the “fizz water” problem.

However, the third coefficient can be very noisy since it depends on the far
angle data (>45 degrees), and is very sensitive to noise.

February, 2012 278

Gulf of Mexico Example



These are angle gathers from the Gulf of Mexico, showing a strong Class II
AVO anomaly. Angles range from 0 to 60 degrees. The target layer is
annotated at right.
February, 2012 279
3 Term Gradient Analysis

These displays show the results of fitting the Aki-Richards equation, using 2
and 3 terms, to the event highlighted on the previous slide.

Note that the equation for 2 terms begins to deviate from the seismic picks
after about 45 degrees.

2 Term 3 Term



February, 2012 280


 This section discussed the AVO intercept and gradient method.

 First, we looked at the theory behind the intercept and gradient.

 We then looked at an example from a shallow gas sand.

 We then discussed the AVO cross-plotting technique.

 Finally, we showed how to estimate three terms from the Aki-

Richards equation and showed several examples of this approach.

February, 2012 281

Exercise 6:
The Colony Gas Sand
Cross Plotting AVO Attributes
Exercise 6

The final step we will perform on this 2-D

AVO example is to create a cross plot of the
derived attributes. The purpose of the cross
plot is to further investigate the type of AVO
anomaly and to delineate cross plot zones
which can be mapped to the volume.
Double-click Cross Plotting > Cross plot

The parameter dialog which appears has a number of items which

need to be filled in.

We are specifying the Cross Plot Type as AVO attributes and the input
volume is the avo volume just created in the previous step:

February, 2012 283

We will analyze a range of CDP’s from
300 to 360:

We will set the analysis window around

the picked horizon, with a window size
of 100 ms:

When you have filled in the dialog as shown, click OK

February, 2012 284

The cross plot which appears shows the
expected background trend through the
origin, with anomalous events in
quadrants 1 and 3, consistent with class
3 AVO anomalies.

We can improve this plot by focusing

attention on only the peaks and
troughs. To do that, right-click on the
plot area and select Set Data Sample

February, 2012 285

Change the Filter Type to Peaks and
Troughs as shown, and click OK:

The new cross plot shows a much

simpler character, with anomalies
clearly separated from the background

February, 2012 286

Now we will highlight the two anomalous zones and project those zones onto
the seismic section.

To draw a zone, first click once on the

Polygon icon:

Then move to the cross plot and draw

the shape roughly as shown below,
using a series of left-mouse clicks at
each of the corners of the polygon and
double-click on the last corner to finish
the polygon. When you are done, the
screen should look similar to this:

Note that the polygon can be modified

by grabbing the “handles” and dragging

February, 2012 287

Note also that the data area inscribed
by the polygon has been highlighted on
the seismic section which is now visible
in the Seismic tab. If the red zones
appear too small, expand your zone by
dragging the handles.

This nicely delineates the top of the

sand reservoir (you may want to remove
the horizon to see it better). We can
name this zone by going back to the
cross plot window and typing in a new

Now repeat this process for the base of

the sand. Click once on the polygon
icon. Then draw a polygon around the
anomalous points in quadrant 1:

February, 2012 288

Call this zone Base of sand:

The seismic cross section now shows

both the top and base of the sand
reservoir delineated:

The cross plot window is now floating over the

Geoview window. We can dock it into its tab by
clicking the Cross Plots button at the lower right.

February, 2012 289

This places the
cross plot within
the Cross Plots

If we wish to release the display from the tab, click the “airplane” at
the lower right.

February, 2012 290

There is a very convenient way to
access any of the displays created so
far. Click on the Scenes tab.

The side tabs indicate which set of displays

we are looking at. For example, click on the
Seismic side tab to see all seismic displays
created in the project.

The check box indicates whether the display

is currently visible in the tab. To turn one on,
click this box.

February, 2012 291

We have reached the end of the Workshop
for AVO Day 1. To close down the Geoview
program, click File -> Exit.

Click Yes on the Confirmation box. Note

there is no need to save the project, as it
is constantly being saved.

(End of Exercise 6)

February, 2012 292


Appendix 1: Calculation of VS using Castagna‟s Assumption

Appendix 2: Averaging Multiple Minerals
Appendix 3: The Zoeppritz Equations
Appendix 4: The Linearized Approximation
Appendix 5: HTI anisotropy
Appendix 6: Shuey‟s Equation
Appendix 7: Extracting Attributes
Appendix 8: Polarization and the AVO Hodogram
Appendix 9: AVO Case Study: Onshore Texas Example
Appendix 10: AVO Fluid Inversion: Analyzing uncertainty in AVO

February, 2012 293

Appendix 1: Calculation of VS using
Castagna’s Assumption

1) Calculate density for 100% brine 5) Calculate Vp_wet

ρwet = ρbr φ + ρm ( 1 - φ) Vpwet 
r wet
2) Calculate input P wave modulus: 6) Calculate Vs_wet from Vp_wet
M = Vp2 ρ Vswet =Ac Vpwet + Bc
3) Calculate matrix P wave
4 7) Calculate Vs_input from Vs_wet
Mm  Km   m
r wet
Vs  Vswet *
4) Adjust P wave modulus to 100% r
M Kfl Kbr
d  
Mm  M  *( Mm  Kfl )  *( Mm  Kbr )
Mwet  d *
February, 2012 1 d 294
Appendix 1: Calculation of VS using
Castagna Assumption

8) Calculate K and m from input data: 10) Calculate Ksat with new fluid:

  Vs * r ; 2
Kdry out
 out
Kfl out
Km  Kdry out
 *( Km  Kfl out )
K  r *Vp  * 
3 K  Km *

1 a
9) Obtain K_dry:
11) Get new density:
K Kfl r out  r fl out * out  r m *(1   out )
a 
Km  K  * ( Km  Kfl )
a 12) Finally – the new velocities!
Kdry  Km *
1 a 4 out
K out    out
Vp out  3 ; Vs out 
r out
r out

February, 2012 295

Appendix 2

Averaging Multiple Minerals

In this appendix, we will discuss the various ways in

which we can average multiple minerals. Note that
these averages also apply to multiple fluids, etc. The
techniques we will discuss are:
1. Voigt averaging
2. Reuss averaging
3. The Voigt-Reuss-Hill average.
4. The Hashin-Shtrikman Bounds

February, 2012 296

Appendix 2: Voigt, Ruess and Hill

If we let f1 be the fraction of mineral 1, f2 be the fraction of mineral 2

(where f1 + f2 = 1), M1 be the modulus of mineral 1 (bulk or shear) and
M2 be the modulus of mineral 2, then the Voigt average is the
arithmetic average given by:

M V  f1 M 1  f 2 M 2
The Reuss average is the harmonic average given by:
1 f1 f2 M 1M 2
   MR 
M R M1 M 2 f1 M 2  f 2 M 1
Finally, the Hill average is the average of the Voigt and Reuss
M H  (M V  M R ) / 2
These averages can be easily extended to N components.
February, 2012 297
Appendix 2: Hashin-Shtrikman Bounds

The Voigt and Reuss bounds give extreme values. Another approach is to
use Hashin-Shtrikman bounds, which are different for the bulk and shear
modulus components. If mineral 1 is stiffer than mineral 2, then the upper
bound is given by (Mavko et al.):

K HS  K1 
( K 2  K1 ) 1  f1 ( K1  ( 4 / 3) 1 ) 1

HS  1 
2 f1 ( K1  2 1 )
( 2  1 ) 

51 ( K1  ( 4 / 3) 1 )

The lower bounds are given by reversing the order of the two minerals in the
equations given above. An example is shown on the next page.

February, 2012 298

Appendix 2: Comparing the Bounds

The figures above show the effect of Voigt, Reuss and Hashin-Shtrikman
upper and lower bounds for materials with K1 = 60 GPa, K2 = 40 GPa, 1 = 45
GPa, and 2 = 15 GPa. Note that the H-S bounds are between the Voigt and
Reuss bounds. In the software, we use the average of the H-S bounds.
February, 2012 299
Appendix 3: The Zoeppritz Equations

Zoeppritz derived the amplitudes of the reflected and transmitted waves

using the conservation of stress and displacement across the layer
boundary, which gives four equations with four unknowns. Inverting the
matrix form of the Zoeppritz equations gives us the exact amplitudes as a
function of angle:

  sin q1  cos 1 sin q 2 cos 2 
 RP (q1 )  cos q  sin 1 cos q 2  sin 2   sin q1 
 R (q )   1   cos q 
 S 1    sin 2q VP1 r 2VS 2VP1
r 2VS 2VP1   1 
cos 21 cos 2 cos 2
 TP (q1 )   1
VS1 r1VS12VP 2
  sin 2q1 
   r 2VP 2 r 2VS 2   
 TS (q1 )   cos 21 
sin 21 cos 22  sin 22   cos 2 1
 VP1 r1VP1 r1VP1 

February, 2012 300

Appendix 3: The Zoeppritz Equations
at 0 degrees

Although the Zoeppritz equations look intimidating, in the case of normal

incidence the equations reduce to the following simple form:

 0 1 0 1 
 RP (0o )  RP 0     0
  1 0 1 0
o    r 2VS 2VP1  1
 S )    RS 0    0 VP1
R ( 0
0   
 TP (0o )   TP 0   VS 1 r1VS 1 
 0
 o     r 2VP 2   
 TS (0 )   TS 0   1 0 0  1
 r1VP1 
By performing the above matrix inversion, we will see some interesting
features about the zero angle case.

February, 2012 301

Appendix 3: The Zoeppritz Equations
at 0 degrees

The matrix inversion can be done by hand when there are so many zeros
(but great care must be taken with the signs!), and we get:

 r 2VP 2  r1VP1 
 0 0
r 2VP 2  r1VP1 r 2VP 2  r1VP1 
 RP 0    r 2VS 2  r1VS12  0
 
R   0 0 1
r V 
    2 S 2 1 S1
S 0 r V V r V  r V  

P1 2 S 2 1 S1
 TP 0   r1VP1 r1VP1  0
  
0 0 
r VP 2  r1VP1 r VP 2  r1VP1  1
 S0 
T 2 2 
 r1VS1 r1VS1

 0 0 
r  r
 2 S 2 1 S1
V V V r V
P1 2 S 2  r V
1 S1  
The zero angle reflection and transmission coefficients are therefore:

r 2VP 2  r1VP1 2 r1VP1

RS 0  TS 0  0, RP 0  , TP 0   1  RP 0
r 2VP 2  r1VP1 r 2VP 2  r1VP1
February, 2012 302
Appendix 4: The Linearized

A useful approximation to RP0 can be derived by noting that:

r 2VP 2  r1VP1 Z P 2  Z P1 Z P Z P1  Z P 2
RP 0=   , where Z P  .
r 2VP 2  r1VP1 Z P 2  Z P1 2 Z P 2

From calculus, we know that:

d ln(Z (t )) 1 dZ (t ) dZ (t )
  d ln(Z (t )) 
dt Z (t ) dt Z (t )
Replacing the derivative d with the difference operator  gives:
 ln Z P  ln VP   ln r 1  VP r 
    
r 
RP 0
2 2 2  VP
Notice that the above equation is the linearized A or RP0 term in the Aki-
Richards equation and its various reformulations.
February, 2012 303
Appendix 5: HTI anisotropy
In this appendix, we will discuss AVO and HTI anisotropy, and AVAZ
(Amplitude versus Azimuth). Let us first define our geometry. As shown
below, the symmetry-axis plane is at right angles to the fractures and the
isotropy plane is parallel to the fractures.

February, 2012
From Ruger (1998) 304
Appendix 5: Azimuth angle

In addition to the raypath angle q, we now introduce an azimuth angle ,

which is defined with respect to the symmetry-axis plane:

Note that the azimuth angle  is equal to 0 degrees along the symmetry-
axis plane and 90 degrees along the isotropy plane.

From Ruger, Geophysics, May-June 1998

February, 2012 305
Appendix 5: AVO and HTI

With this definition of azimuth angle, we can derive the following

linearized modeling equation for AVO in HTI media:

Ran (q ,  )  Aiso  ( Biso  Bani cos 2  ) sin 2 q  (Ciso  Cani cos 2  ) sin 2 q tan 2 q ,

where Aiso , Biso , and Ciso are the isotropic AVO terms,
 VS 

(V ) 1

Bani    8    and Cani   (V ) sin 2    (V ) cos 2  
 VP   2
are the AVO HTI anisotropy terms, with :
 (V )  Thomsen' s  parameter defined with respect to vertical,
 (V )  Thomsen' s  parameter defined with respect to vertical,
q  incidence angle, and   azimuth angle.
February, 2012 306
Appendix 5: Ruger’s B term

In the VTI and HTI AVO expressions given by Ruger

(2002), he rewrites the gradient term B in the AVO
equation in terms of VP and , as shown below:
Standard form of B :

1  VP
VS   VS

VS  r 1   VP VS   2 VS r 

B  4   2     4     
2 Vp VP  VS VP  r 2  Vp
 VP   VS r 

Ruger' s form of B :
 2
1   VP VS   2 VS r  1   VP
VS     2 
B   4     
    4    2 ln    ln r 
2  Vp VP   VS r  2  V p VP   r 
    

1   VP VS 
 
 1   VP VS    

   4    ln      4  
2  Vp  P
V  2  p
V  P
V  

February, 2012 307

Appendix 5: AVO and HTI
To show the effects of HTI, Ruger (2002) created the following four models:

Model Vp/Vp A /  (V)  (V) 

A 0.1 0.1 0.2 0 0 0.1

B 0.1 0.1 0.2 -0.1 0 0

C 0.1 0.1 0.2 0 -0.1 0

D 0.1 0.1 0.2 -0.05 -0.05 0.15

 2 VS r
Note :  
 VS r
The results of these four models will be shown on the next two slides.
February, 2012 308
Appendix 5: Models A and B

The reflection coefficients for The reflection coefficients for Model

Model A (change in ) as a B (change in  ) as a function of
function of incidence angle for 0, incidence angle for 0, 30, 60 and 90
30, 60 and 90 degrees azimuth. degrees azimuth.
February, 2012 309
Appendix 5: Models C and D

The reflection coefficients for The reflection coefficients for Model

Model C (change in ) as a function D (change in   and ) as a
of incidence angle for 0, 30, 60 and function of incidence angle for 0,
90 degrees azimuth. 30, 60 and 90 degrees azimuth.
February, 2012 310
Appendix 5: AVAZ

 The HTI approach just described gives us a way to model amplitude

versus offset and azimuth (AVAZ) effects.
 To observe AVAZ effects, AVO analysis is done on seismic data that
has been binned into different sets of azimuths.
 The first step is then to extract an estimate of Bani using the inverse of
the two-term modeling equation.
 As shown on the next slide, Bani will give us an estimate of fracture
 Next, we can estimate the fracture orientation, as discussed in the
slides following the next slide.
 As shown on the final five slides, AVAZ analysis can thus be quantified
to give us an interpretation over a fractured reservoir, both in map and
cross-section view.

February, 2012 311

Appendix 5: Fracture density

As shown in this hudson wet
Gassmann wet
figure, using 0.08
several different 0.07
rock physics
modeling schemes,
the value of Bani is a 0.05
good indicator of 0.04
the crack, or
fracture, density in
a fractured 0.02
reservoir. 0.01

0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.1
crack density

February, 2012 312

Appendix 5: Fracture orientation
In our modeling slides, we
assumed that the direction of
the fractures was known.
However, this is often
unknown, and needs to be
determined. Let us first define
sym to be the azimuth angle sym
along the symmetry-axis plane,
and iso to be the azimuth angle
along the isotropy plane, as
shown on the right:

We can then write the near offset HTI AVO equation as either:
Ran (q ,  )  Aiso  [ Biso  Bani cos 2 (  sym )] sin 2 q
or, since sym is orthogonal to iso, as:

Ran (q ,  )  Aiso  [ Biso  Bani sin 2 (  iso )] sin 2 q

February, 2012 313
Appendix 5: Fracture orientation
Regardless of which convention we choose, we can then plot the reflectivity
as a function of azimuth, as shown below, and determine the symmetry-plane
and isotropy-plane angles from the minimum and maximum values of the
curve. AVAZ Effect

The interpretation of this plot will 2500.00

depend on the sign of Bani.

Assuming Bani is positive, we find 2000.00

that sym = 130o and iso = 40o.

Relative Amplitude
Note that iso gives us the
de 1500.00

fracture orientation.
Amplitu 1000.00

However, Bani can also be
negative. Later is the appendix 0.00

we see how this leads to a 90

degree ambiguity in the



symmetry axis.

Angle 35



February, 2012 314

Appendix 5: Variations in AVAZ

This figure shows
offset gathers at two
different azimuths
over a fractured
reservoir. As seen
in the next two
slides, 1 = iso and
2 = sym.

Notice the dramatic

change in the AVO

1 2
February, 2012
Courtesy: Dave Gray, CGGVeritas
Appendix 5: AVO parallel to fractures


q receiver

fractured medium

azimuth= 1 =iso
February, 2012
Courtesy: Dave Gray, CGGVeritas
Appendix 5: AVO across fractures



isoiso   iso=90o fractured


Azimuth= 2 = iso+90 Courtesy: Dave Gray, CGGVeritas

February, 2012 317
Appendix 5: Fracture Interpretation

Using the previous ideas,

AVO Fracture Analysis Orientation
measures fracture volume of Fault
from differences in AVO
response with Azimuth.
Fracture strike is
determined where this
difference is a maximum.
Oil Well

Direction of Line is Effects
estimated fault strike,
length of line and color Fractures curling
is estimated crack into the fault
Fractures abutting
density Interpreted Faults the fault

February, 2012
Courtesy: Dave Gray, CGGVeritas318
Appendix 5: Outcrop compared to AVAZ

Base of
Dunes Fracture Strike


Photo courtesy of Golder Associates

February, 2012 319
Linearized near offset Ruger equation

The near offset Rüger equation may be solved by linear squares by

reparameterizing the problem
Ran (q ,  )  Aiso  [ Biso  Bani sin 2 (  iso )] sin 2 q
B  Biso  Bani
Bani  C 2  D2

tan 2iso  D / C
Ran (q ,  )  A  [ B  C cos 2  D sin 2 ] sin 2 q

Can express this as linear problem Gm  d

which may be solved by least squares 
m  G G GT d

February, 2012 320

Appendix 5: Fracture orientation
The near offset Ruger equation
Ran (q ,  )  Aiso  [ Biso  Bani sin 2 (  iso )] sin 2 q
is nonlinear and multi-modal. Two sets of parameters fit the data equally
well. The nonlinear inversion solves for the magnitude Bani and azimuth iso.

The magnitude may be either positive or negative. From a rock physics

perspective the expectation is that Bani should generally be positive so the
typical convention is to chose Bani to be positive.

However, Bani is actually an interface parameter so it changes sign whether

the wave is moving from an isotropic to an anisotropic layer or vice versa.

If Bani is negative this introduces a 90 degree phase rotation to the azimuth

estimate compared to a positive Bani

February, 2012 321

Appendix 5: Fracture orientation
For a particular angle of incidence the
Azimuthal Reflectivity is Azimuthal reflectivity for a
• circular for an isotropic media
constant angle of incidence
• elliptical for an HTI media
•the anisotropic gradient specifies the perturbation from the
isotropic (circular) solution

There are two possible

parameterizations which describe
0.02 -Bani
the elliptical reflectivity 0.01 iso
• Solution 1 (positive Bani): 0

•isotropic media is characterized by the red circle

•Bani is positive forming Blue ellipse
•Isotropy-plane azimuth is defined by red line segment -0.02

• Solution 2: (negative Bani): -0.03

•isotropic media is characterized by the black circle
•Bani is negative forming Blue ellipse -0.04
-0.04 -0.03 -0.02 -0.01 0 0.01 0.02 0.03 0.04
•Isotropy-plane azimuth is defined by black line segment

February, 2012 322

Appendix 5: Fracture orientation

Fsym (from near offset Rüger) Fsym (nonlinear inversion)

180° 180°

0° 0°

• Downton (2011) shows that is possible to resolve the azimuth ambiguity by

performing a nonlinear inversion on multiple azimuthal Fourier coefficients
• The Fracture strike is consistent with maximum horizontal stress (135 degrees) in
the area
February, 2012 323
Appendix 6: Shuey’s Equation

Shuey (1985) rewrote the ABC equation using VP, r, and s. Only the gradient
is different than in the ABC expression:

 1  2s  s
B  A D  2(1  D)   ,
 1  s  (1  s ) 2

VP / VP s  s1
where : D  ,s  2 , and s  s 2  s 1.
VP / VP  r / r 2
The above equation is quite complicated but can be greatly simplified by
assuming that s = 1/3 (the same as Vp/Vs=2). This gives:

 1  9s
B  A D  2(1  D )    2.25 Δσ  A
 2 4
This leads to a very intuitive version of the two-term AVO equation:

RP (q )  A  ( 2.25 Δσ  A) sin 2 q

February, 2012 324

Appendix 6: Shuey’s Equation

Gas Sand Model

Aki-Richards vs Shuey
This figure shows a
comparison between the 0.250
two forms of the 0.200
Aki-Richards equation for 0.150
the gas sand considered 0.100
Note that the values are -0.050
close but, unlike the -0.100
previous three forms of the -0.150
equation, Shuey’s version -0.200
does not give exactly the -0.250
same values. 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45
Angle (degrees)

A-R Top Shuey Top

A-R Base Shuey Base
February, 2012 325
Appendix 6: Hilterman’s Approximation

Hilterman re-arranges Shuey’s equation in a slightly different way:

R(q )  A  2.25s  Asin 2 q

 A (1  sin 2 q )  2.25s sin 2 q
 A cos 2 q  2.25s sin 2 q
Notice that this equation is very intuitive, since it shows that, as the
angle increases, so does the dependence on s. Keep in mind that this
equation is strictly correct only for s = 1/3 and that the C term has been
dropped. Note also that another way of writing this equation is as
follows, which shows the dependence on A and B:

R(q )  A cos 2 q  ( A  B) sin 2 q

February, 2012 326
Appendix 7: Extracting Attributes

In the course we have often discussed the need to extract attributes from
the pre-stack seismic gathers. To see how this is done, note that all the
linearized equations we have looked at so far can be written as:

RP (q )  f1 p1  f 2 p2  f 3 p3 ,
where f1 , f 2 , and f 3 are functions of q and sometimes VS2 / VP2 ,
and p1, p2 , and p3 are functions of VP ,VS , and r .

For example, the ABC equation is:

RP (q )  A  B sin 2 q  C tan 2 q sin 2 q , where : f1  1, f 2  sin 2 q , f 3  tan 2 q sin 2 q ,

2 2
 VP r  VP V   VS V  r  VP
p1  A   , p2  B   4 S   2 S  , p3  C  .
2V p 2 r 2V p VP  VS VP  r 2V p

February, 2012 327

Appendix 7: Extracting Attributes

For N traces, where we know the angles, we can write:

RP (q1 )  f1 (q1 ) p1  f 2 (q1 ) p2  f 3 (q1 ) p3

RP (q 2 )  f1 (q 2 ) p1  f 2 (q 2 ) p2  f 3 (q 2 ) p3
   
RP (q N )  f1 (q N ) p1  f 2 (q N ) p2  f 3 (q N ) p3
This can be written in matrix form as:

 RP (q1 )   f1 (q1 ) f 2 (q1 ) f 3 (q1 ) 

 R (q )   f (q )   p1 
f 2 (q 2 ) f 3 (q 2 )  
 P 2  1 2  p2
        
     p2 
 P N   f1 (q N )
R ( q ) f 2 (q 2 ) f 3 (q N )
February, 2012 328
Appendix 7: Extracting Attributes

The previous equation can be written more simply as:

R  MP,
where R is a known vector of N picked reflection coefficients at a constant
time, M is an N x 3 vector of computed values, and P is the unknown vector
containing the parameters to be estimated.

This is an over-constrained problem which has the following solution:

 p1  1 0 0
P   p2   ( M T M   I ) 1 M T R, where I  0 1 0,
   
 p3  0 0 1
and  is a pre - whitening factor.
February, 2012 329
Appendix 7: Extracting ABC

Let us take the specific case of extracting ABC attributes, for which the
forward problem is:

 RP (q1 )  1 sin 2 q1 tan 2 q1 sin 2 q1 

 R (q )     A
 P 2  1 sin 2
q2 tan q 2 sin q 2   
2 2
       
    C 
 RP (q N )  1 sin 2
qN tan q N sin q N 
2 2

Since we know that sin qi  X iVINT / tVRMS

, we can write :

 RP (q1 )  1 X V / tVRMS 
2 2
X V / tV 2
/ 
 X V / tV 2

1 
 R (q )  
 
  A

 P 2   1 X V
2 INT / tV 2
RMS 2
X V
2 INT / tVRMS  / X 2VINT / tVRMS   1   
2 2 2 2

        
  
 RP (q N ) 1 X NVINT / tVRMS 
2 2 2 2

X NVINT / tVRMS  / X NVINT / tVRMS   1 
2 2

 C 

February, 2012 330

Appendix 7: Extracting ABC
Simplifying the notation we get the following solution:
 1 b1 c1    RP1 
 A   1 1  1    1 1  1 
 B    b b  b  1 b2 c2   b b

 bN  
 P 2 
   1 2 N
    1 2   
C   c c  cN   c1 c2  cN  
  1 2  
1 bN cN    PN 
 N N
  N

 N

b 
i 1
i 1
ci 

 i 1
RPi 

 N N N
  N

    bi RPi , bi  X iVINT / tVRMS  , ci  1
2 bi
 bi bi2 bi ci   2

 i 1 i 1 i 1   i 1  bi  1
 N N N   N 
  b c 
 i 1
i 1
i i
i 1
ci 



i 1
ci RPi 

February, 2012 331

Appendix 7: Extracting RP0, RS0 and
RD Attributes

Next, let us take the case of extracting RP0, RS0 and RD attributes, for which
the forward problem is:

 RP (q1 )   d (q1 ) e(q1 ) f (q1 ) 

 R (q )   d (q ) e(q )   RP 0 
f (q 2 )  
 P 2  2 2  RS 0 , where :
        
     RD 
 P N  d (q N ) e(q N )
R ( q ) f (q N )
2 2
V V 1
d (qi )  1  tan 2 qi , e(qi )  8 S2 sin 2 qi , f (qi )  2 S2 sin 2 qi  tan 2 qi ,
1   VP r  1   VS r  r X iVINT
RP 0     , R     , R  , and sin q  .
2  VP r  S0
2  VS r  D
r i 2

February, 2012 332

Appendix 7: Extracting RP0, RS0 and
RD Attributes

Simplifying the notation we get the following solution:

  d1 e1 f1    RP1 
 RP 0   d1 d 2  d N     d1 d 2  d N 
 R    e e  e   d 2 f2  e e

 eN  
e2 R
 P 2 
 S 0   1 2 N 
      1 2   
 RD    f f 2  cN    f1 f 2  f N  
  1  
d N eN f N    PN 
 N N N
  N

d d e 
i 1

i 1
i i
i 1
di fi 

i 1
d i RPi 

 N N N
  N


i 1
d i ei 
i 1
ei2 
i 1
ei f i 

i 1
ei RPi 

 N N N   N 

d f e f 
i 1
i i
i 1
i i
i 1
fi 



i 1
f i RPi 

February, 2012 333

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram

We have seen that one of the major causes of “scatter” on seismically

derived cross-plots is wavelet interference.

One approach to reducing wavelet interference is to use the AVO hodogram

(Keho et al: The AVO hodogram: Using polarization to identify anomalies,
TLE, November, 2001 and Mahob and Castagna: AVO hodograms and
polarization attributes, TLE, January, 2002).

A second approach is to perform inversion of the AVO attribute volumes. We

will see this in a later section.

February, 2012 334

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram

Up to now, we have
calculated cross plots of A
and B, using fairly large
analysis windows.

This gives a broad cluster of

points, containing both the
background trend and the AVO
February, 2012 335
Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram

In Polarization Analysis, we calculate

cross plots over small sliding windows
on a single trace.

February, 2012 336

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram

For each cross plot, we

can calculate the
polarization vector.

This measures the q

direction of the
dominant energy for
this cluster.

The length of the

vector measures the
average energy in the

February, 2012 337

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram
Theoretically, we can expect wet trend
points to fall around the -45o trend,
while class 3 AVO anomalies fall
around +45o.


February, 2012 338

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram


One way to display this result is to plot the calculated polarization vector on
a 3-D display with time as the third axis. This is called a Hodogram.

February, 2012 339

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram

A more conventional display shows the

calculated polarization angle for a single
trace as a function of time.

Note that this result depends on the size of

the sliding window.

Also note the anomalous positive

Polarization Angle around 630 ms
indicating the Class 3 anomaly.

February, 2012 340

Appendix 8: Polarization and the
AVO Hodogram
In addition to the Polarization Angle itself, a very useful attribute is the
Polarization Product, which is Polarization Angle multiplied by the length of
the Polarization Vector. This is expected to highlight bright spots which
have high hydrocarbon potential:

February, 2012 341

Appendix 9:
AVO Case Study
Onshore Texas Example
AVO Case Study, Onshore Texas

This case study comes from a paper by Mark Gregg and Charles Bukowski
(Leading Edge, November, 2000).

This paper shows a very practical example of the application of AVO to a

mature basin.

February, 2012 343

The exploration objective was
the clastic Oligocene Vicksburg
formation in South Texas.

This has produced more than 3

trillion ft3 of gas since the
1920’s, but not much AVO work
has been reported.

The authors believe the lack of

AVO application comes because
“the Vicksburg trend is not a
typical amplitude-supported

February, 2012 344

The motivation for using AVO
came from results like those
shown on the left.

Using the conventional post-

stack data, it is difficult to
distinguish Gas from Wet sand
before drilling.

Prior to AVO analysis, the

authors had drilled one
commercial gas well, one non-
commercial gas well, and three
dry holes.

February, 2012 345

These curves from the gas
discovery well show both a
Gas and a Wet zone.

The change in acoustic

impedance is small but the
change in Poisson’s ratio is

This suggests a class 2

AVO anomaly.

February, 2012 346

Synthetic modeling
confirmed the expected
class 2 response.

February, 2012 347

The data was
reprocessed to include
moveout. This turned
out to be critical, as the
figure shows.

February, 2012 348

A very useful indicator is the
Near and Far Angle Stack.

Note that the Gas sand shows

its brightest response on the
Far Angle stack, as expected
for the class 2 behavior.

The authors used the Far

Angle Stack as the main tool
for searching for new

February, 2012 349

The authors studied the existing wells and came to these conclusions:

(1) There were about 100 gas wells in the area with cumulative production
> 1 billion ft3.
(2) About ½ of these were associated with class 2 AVO anomalies.
(3) About 65% of the ~70 drilled anomalies were commercial gas
(4) Thicker, better-developed reservoirs produced the most distinctive
(5) Threshold gross reservoir thickness required to produce an anomaly
was about 30-60ft.
(6) Most productive anomalies were at depths of 5,000-10,000 ft.

February, 2012 350

This is the first drilled

100 ft gross interval

with 72 ft of net pay,
producing initially 3
million ft3 of gas per

Since the anomaly is

not visible on the
conventional stack,
this would not have
been drilled without
the AVO analysis.

February, 2012 351

A second anomaly was
identified by interpreting the
far-angle stack using
Landmark’s Earthcube

This had not been identified

before AVO, because of the
poor quality of the
conventional stack. This was
presumed to be because of
the small acoustic impedance

Note that there appear to be

multiple anomalies at the
prospective level.

February, 2012 352

The drilled well
encountered 2 pay

Upper zone: gross

thickness of 54 ft,
with 28 ft net pay.

Lower zone: gross

thickness of 214 ft
with 69 ft net pay.

Initial production
rate was 5.3 million
ft3 with estimated
ultimate recovery of
14 billion ft3.

February, 2012 353

Two more
successful wells
are shown here.

February, 2012 354

This is an unsuccessful result. The drilling encountered 105 ft of clean,
low-gas-saturated sand at the anomaly.

February, 2012 355


(1) Six commercial discoveries.

(2) Two dry holes, caused by low gas saturation.
(3) This is a 75% success rate, dramatically improved from the original
20% success rate.

Authors’ conclusions:

(1) Know your rocks. Do the modeling.

(2) Look beyond conventional seismic techniques, e.g. AVO.
(3) Low gas saturation remains a pitfall of the AVO method.

February, 2012 356

Appendix 10:

AVO Fluid Inversion : Analyzing

uncertainty in AVO

AVO Analysis is now routinely used for exploration and


But: all AVO attributes contain a great deal of

“uncertainty” – there is a wide range of lithologies which
could account for any AVO response.

In this talk we present a procedure for analyzing and

quantifying AVO uncertainty.

As a result, we will calculate probability maps for

hydrocarbon detection.

February, 2012 358

AVO Uncertainty Analysis:
The Basic Process

February, 2012 359
“Conventional” AVO Modeling:
Creating 2 Pre-Stack Synthetics





February, 2012 360

Monte Carlo Simulation:
Creating Many Synthetics






February, 2012 361

The Basic Model

We assume a 3-layer
Shale model with shale
enclosing a sand (with
various fluids).


February, 2012 362

The Shales are
Vp1, Vs1, ρ1 characterized by:

P-wave velocity
S-wave velocity
Vp2, Vs2, ρ2

February, 2012 363

Each parameter has a
Vp1, Vs1, ρ1 probability distribution:

Vp2, Vs2, ρ2

February, 2012 364

The Sand is characterized by:

Brine Modulus
Brine Density
Shale Gas Modulus
Gas Density
Oil Modulus
Sand Oil Density
Matrix Modulus
Matrix density
Shale Porosity
Shale Volume
Water Saturation

Each of these has a probability distribution.

February, 2012 365
Trend Analysis

Some of the statistical distributions are determined

from well log trend analyses:
0.4 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
February, 2012 366
Determining Distributions at
Selected Locations
Assume a Normal distribution. Get the Mean and Standard
Deviation from the trend curves for each depth:

0.4 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
February, 2012 367
Trend Analysis: Other Distributions
Shale Velocity
4000 Sand Density
3500 2.8
3000 2.6 3.0 Shale Density
2500 2.4 40%
2.6 Sand Porosity
2000 2.2
2.4 35%
1500 2.0
2.2 30%
1000 1.8
2.0 25%
500 1.6
0 1.4 20%
1.6 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
1.4 DBSB (Km)
1.0 10%
0.4 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
1.0 5%
0.4 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
0% DBSB (Km)
0.4 0.9 1.4 1.9 2.4 2.9 3.4
February, 2012 DBSB (Km) 368
Practically, this is how we set up the distributions:
Vp Trend Analysis
Vs Castagna’s Relationship with % error
Density Trend Analysis

Brine Modulus
Brine Density
Gas Modulus
Gas Density
Oil Modulus Constants for the area
Oil Density
Matrix Modulus
Matrix density
Dry Rock Modulus Calculated from sand trend analysis
Porosity Trend Analysis
Shale Volume Uniform Distribution from petrophysics
Water Saturation Uniform Distribution from petrophysics
Thickness Uniform Distribution
February, 2012 369
Calculating a Single Model Response

From a particular model instance, Note that a wavelet is

calculate two synthetic traces at assumed known.
different angles. 0o 45o

Top Shale


Base Shale

February, 2012 370

Note that these amplitudes include
On the synthetic traces, pick the
interference from the second interface.
event corresponding to the top of o o
the sand layer: 0 45

Top Shale

Base Shale

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Using these picks, calculate the Intercept and Gradient for this
0o 45o
I = P1
G = (P2-P1)/sin2(45)

Top Shale P2


Base Shale

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Using Biot-Gassmann Substitution

Starting from the Brine Sand case, the corresponding Oil and Gas Sand models are
generated using Biot-Gassmann substitution. This creates 3 points on the I-G cross plot:



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Monte-Carlo Analysis
By repeating this process many times, we get a probability distribution for
each of the 3 sand fluids:

I Oil

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The distributions are depth-dependent

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The Depth-dependence can often be understood using
Rutherford-Williams classification
2 4 6



5 6

Class 1
Class 2

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Class 3 376
Bayes’ Theorem

Bayes’ Theorem is used to calculate the probability that any new (I,G) point
belongs to each of the classes (brine, oil, gas):

P F I,G  
 ~
 ~
p I , G F * P( F )
 k
p I , G Fk * PFk 

P(Fk) represent a priori probabilities and Fk is either brine, oil, gas;
p(I,G|Fk) are suitable distribution densities (eg. Gaussian) estimated
from the stochastic simulation output.

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Example Probability Calculations

Gas Oil Brine

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Real Data Calibration

In order to apply Bayes’ Theorem to (I,G) points from a real seismic data set,
we need to “calibrate” the real data points.

This means that we need to determine a scaling from the real data amplitudes
to the model amplitudes.

We define two scalers, Sglobal and Sgradient, this way:

Iscaled = Sglobal *Ireal

Gscaled = Sglobal * Sgradient * Greal

One way to determine these scalers is by manually fitting multiple

known regions to the model data.

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Fitting 6 Known Zones to the Model

4 5 4 5
6 6

3 1 3

2 2

1 2 3

4 5 6

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Real Data Example – West Africa

This example shows a real project from West Africa,

performed by one of the authors (Cardamone).

There are 7 productive oil wells which produce from a

shallow formation.

The seismic data consists of 2 common angle stacks.

The object is to perform Monte Carlo analysis using

trends from the productive wells, calibrate to the known
data points, and evaluate potential drilling locations on a
second deeper formation.
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One Line from the 3D Volume

Near Angle Stack

0-20 degrees

Far Angle Stack

20-40 degrees

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Near Angle Stack
0-20 degrees

Shallow producing zone

Deeper target zone

Far Angle Stack

20-40 degrees

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AVO Anomaly

Near Angle Stack

0-20 degrees

Far Angle Stack

20-40 degrees

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Amplitude Slices Extracted from
Shallow Producing Zone

Near Angle Stack

0-20 degrees



Far Angle Stack

20-40 degrees

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Trend Analysis : Sand and Shale

Sand velocity Sand density






1000 1.50
500 700 900 1100 1300 1500 1700 1900 500 700 900 1100 1300 1500 1700 1900


3500 Shale velocity 2.75 Shale density





1500 1.75

1000 1.50
500 700 900 1100 1300 1500
1700 1900 2100 2300 2500 500 700
900 1100 1300 1500 1700 1900

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Monte Carlo Simulations at 6 Burial

-1400 -1600 -1800

-2000 -2200 -2400

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Near Angle Amplitude Map Showing
Defined Zones

Wet Zone 1
Well 6

Well 3 Well 5
Well 7 Well 1

Well 2

Well 4

Wet Zone 2

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Calibration Results at Defined

Wet Zone 1 Well 2

Wet Zone 2 Well 5

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Well 3 Well 6

Well 4 Well 1

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Using Bayes’ Theorem at Producing
Zone: OIL

Near Angle Amplitudes


Probability of Oil

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Using Bayes’ Theorem at Producing
Zone: GAS

Near Angle Amplitudes


Probability of Gas

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Using Bayes’ Theorem at Target

Near angle amplitudes of second event


Probability of oil on second event .80


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Verifying Selected Locations at
Target Horizon

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By representing lithologic parameters as probability distributions we

can calculate the range of expected AVO responses.

This allows us to investigate the uncertainty in AVO predictions.

Using Bayes’ theorem we can produce probability maps for different

potential pore fluids.

But: The results depend critically on calibration between the real

and model data.

And: The calculated probabilities depend on the reliability of all the

underlying probability distributions.

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