2018 SEG International Exposition and Annual Meeting,
Anaheim, California, USA
2018. Society of Exploration Geophysicists
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Ultrasonic velocities were measured across a variety of samples to link elastic properties with physical properties unique to coals, shaly coals, and coaly mudstones. P- and S-wave velocities have a positive correlation with both rank and inorganic mineral content in coaly rocks from New Zealand. The results compare to previous studies, which show increasing elastic wave speed as a function of organic maturity. In addition, they portray a greater change in elastic moduli (ΔK and ΔG), over increasing coal rank, than velocity (ΔV) or density (Δρ). VP/VS decreases from an average of 2.43 in subbituminous coals to 2.14 in anthracite and continues decreasing with increasing inorganic mineral matter. Further study may elucidate whether these relationships are useful to distinguish coaly rocks in the subsurface through forward modelling or seismic inversion. The comprehensive dataset from this study presents a new geophysical approach towards coaly source rocks. These types of petroleum source rocks are regionally significant, however; they are less common globally.
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