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Seismoelectric coupling in unsaturated porous media: theory, petrophysics, and saturation front localization using an electroacoustic approach

Abstract : The seismoelectric method is based on the interpretation of the electrical field associated with the conversion of mechanical to electromagnetic energy during the propagation of seismic waves in heterogeneous porous media. We propose an extension of a poroacoustic model that takes into account fluid flow and the effect of saturation. This model is coupled with an electrokinetic model accounting for the effect of saturation and in agreement with available experimental data in sands and carbonate rocks. We also developed new scaling laws for the permeability, the streaming potential coupling coefficient and the capillary entry pressure of porous media. The theory is developed for frequencies much below the critical frequency at which inertial effects starts to dominate in the Navier–Stokes equation (>10 kHz). The equations used to compute the propagation of the P waves and the seismoelectric effect in unsaturated condition are solved with finite elements using triangular meshing. We demonstrate the usefulness of a recently developed technique, seismoelectric beamforming, to localize saturation fronts by focusing seismic waves and looking at the resulting seismoelectric conversions. This method is applied to a cross-hole problem showing how a saturation front characterized by a drop in the electrical conductivity and compressibility is responsible for seismoelectric conversions. These conversions can be used, in turn, to determine the position of the front over time.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01742282
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Submitted on : Saturday, March 24, 2018 - 12:59:59 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 17, 2020 - 5:09:05 PM

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A Revil, G Barnier, M Karaoulis, P Sava, Abderrahim Jardani, et al.. Seismoelectric coupling in unsaturated porous media: theory, petrophysics, and saturation front localization using an electroacoustic approach. Geophysical Journal International, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2013, 196 (2), pp.867--884. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggt440⟩. ⟨hal-01742282⟩

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