Anisotropic attenuation can provide sensitive attributes for fracture detection and lithology discrimination. This paper analyzes measurements of the P-wave attenuation coefficient in a transversely isotropic sample made of phenolic material. Using the spectral-ratio method, we estimate the group (effective) attenuation coefficient of P-waves transmitted through the sample for a wide range of propagation angles (from 0° to 90°) with the symmetry axis. Correction for the difference between the group and phase angles and for the angular velocity variation help us to obtain the normalized phase attenuation coefficient A governed by the Thomsen-style attenuation-anisotropy parameters εQ and δQ. Whereas the symmetry axis of the angle-dependent coefficient practically coincides with that of the velocity function, the magnitude of the attenuation anisotropy far exceeds that of the velocity anisotropy. The quality factor Q increases more than tenfold from the symmetry axis (slow direction) to the isotropy plane (fast direction). Inversion of the coefficient using the Christoffel equation yields large negative values of the parameters εQ and δQ. . The robustness of our results critically depends on several factors, such as the availability of an accurate anisotropic velocity model and adequacy of the homogeneous concept of wave propagation, as well as the choice of the frequency band. The methodology discussed here can be extended to field measurements of anisotropic attenuation needed for AVO (amplitude-variation-with-offset) analysis, amplitude-preserving migration, and seismic fracture detection.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kasper_van_wijk/6/