Abstract

There are many demands to estimate permeability of a rock mass in investigation, design, construction in civil engineering. Rock permeability is usually measured with the in-situ permeability test in a borehole and/or laboratory permeability test of rock core samples obtained in the borehole. However it is often difficult to drill enough number of boreholes for estimating permeability of a large rock mass due to time and cost constraints. For such a case, geophysical methods can be effectively used for profiling permeability of wide or long range of the underground if geophysical properties such as seismic velocity and resistivity can be converted to permeability.

We, therefore, propose a new method for profiling permeability of a sedimentary rock with multiple geophysical data based on rock physics. The method uses the Kozeny-Carman equation for calculating permeability with porosity and grain size of the rock which are estimated from seismic velocity, resistivity and density data based on rock physics models.

The method is applied to S-wave velocity and resistivity data measured for sandstone core samples in the laboratory, and to S-wave velocity and density well log data measured in a sandy siltstone. Comparison of estimated permeability with actual measurements by the in-situ and laboratory permeability tests shows that permeability of the sedimentary rock can be estimated in accuracy less than one order of magnitude. This result indicates that the proposed method is promising for permeability profiling of a rock mass using geophysical data.

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