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Seismoelectric couplings in a poroelastic material containing two immiscible fluid phases

Abstract : A new approach of seismoelectric imaging has been recently proposed to detect saturation fronts in which seismic waves are focused in the subsurface to scan its heterogeneous nature and determine saturation fronts. Such type of imaging requires however a complete modelling of the seismoelectric properties of porous media saturated by two immiscible fluid phases, one being usually electrically insulating (for instance water and oil). We combine an extension of Biot dynamic theory, valid for porous media containing two immiscible Newtonian fluids, with an extension of the electrokinetic theory based on the notion of effective volumetric charge densities dragged by the flow of each fluid phase. These effective charge densities can be related directly to the permeability and saturation of each fluid phase. The coupled partial differential equations are solved with the finite element method. We also derive analytically the transfer function connecting the macroscopic electrical field to the acceleration of the fast P wave (coseismic electrical field) and we study the influence of the water content on this coupling. We observe that the amplitude of the co-seismic electrical disturbance is very sensitive to the water content with an increase in amplitude with water saturation. We also investigate the seismoelectric conversions (interface effect) occurring at the water table. We show that the conversion response at the water table can be identifiable only when the saturation contrasts between the vadose and saturated zones are sharp enough. A relatively dry vadose zone represents the best condition to identify the water table through seismoelectric measurements. Indeed, in this case, the coseismic electrical disturbances are vanishingly small compared to the seismoelectric interface response.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01742269
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 12:59:39 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 5:09:05 PM

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Abderrahim Jardani, A Revil. Seismoelectric couplings in a poroelastic material containing two immiscible fluid phases. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2015, 202 (2), pp.850--870. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggv176⟩. ⟨hal-01742269⟩

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