AVO inversion for a non-welded interface: Estimating compliances of a fluid-filled fracture

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Though well known for layer boundaries, the use of amplitude-versus-offset (AVO) variations for non-welded boundaries like fractures is not yet investigated. Depending on the seismic wavelength used, fractures can be regarded as thin, compliant zones in rocks, in different scales. We explore the potential of multiangle AVO inversion of P-P and P-S reflections from a fracture to estimate fracture properties.We conduct laboratory experiments to measure reflection responses of dry and wet fractures. The observed P-P reflections of the wet fracture and the fracture aperture are very well predicted by the non-welded interface model.We invert the angle-dependent P-P reflectivity of the fracture to estimate both normal and tangential fracture compliances. The estimated value of the normal compliance is accurate, and it is also possible to obtain the value of the non-zero tangential compliance.We find that supplementing the information of converted P-S reflections in theAVOinversion greatly improves the estimate of the tangential compliance. The calculated compliance ratio clearly shows the existence of fluid in the fracture. This finding can be crucial for new applications in a wide range of scale—from earthquake seismology, deep and shallow seismic exploration, to non-destructive material testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-62
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Inverse theory
  • Defects
  • Fracture and flow
  • Body waves
  • Fractures and faults


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