Estimation of seismic attenuation in carbonate rocks using three different methods: Application on VSP data from Abu Dhabi oilfield

F. Bouchaala, M. Y. Ali, J. Matsushima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


In this study a relationship between the seismic wavelength and the scale of heterogeneity in the propagating medium has been examined. The relationship estimates the size of heterogeneity that significantly affects the wave propagation at a specific frequency, and enables a decrease in the calculation time of wave scattering estimation. The relationship was applied in analyzing synthetic and Vertical Seismic Profiling (VSP) data obtained from an onshore oilfield in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Prior to estimation of the attenuation, a robust processing workflow was applied to both synthetic and recorded data to increase the Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). Two conventional methods of spectral ratio and centroid frequency shift methods were applied to estimate the attenuation from the extracted seismic waveforms in addition to a new method based on seismic interferometry. The attenuation profiles derived from the three approaches demonstrated similar variation, however the interferometry method resulted in greater depth resolution, differences in attenuation magnitude. Furthermore, the attenuation profiles revealed significant contribution of scattering on seismic wave attenuation. The results obtained from the seismic interferometry method revealed estimated scattering attenuation ranges from 0 to 0.1 and estimated intrinsic attenuation can reach 0.2. The subsurface of the studied zones is known to be highly porous and permeable, which suggest that the mechanism of the intrinsic attenuation is probably the interactions between pore fluids and solids.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)79-91
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Geophysics
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2016


  • Carbonate rocks
  • Fine layers
  • Heterogeneity
  • Intrinsic attenuation
  • Scattering
  • Vertical Seismic Profile (VSP)


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