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Experimental study of acoustic anisotropy and birefringence in dry and saturated Fontainebleau sandstone

Abstract : The velocities of ultrasonic P, SH, and SV waves have been measured in two perpendicular directions, in samples of Fontainebleau sandstone as received or thermally cracked, dry, or saturated, under uniaxial stress. We have investigated the effect of cracking, saturation, and uniaxial stress on the velocity of P and S waves in two orthogonal directions (anisotropy) and the velocity of S waves with two orthogonal polarizations in each direction of propagation (birefringence). The effect of cracking, saturation, and uniaxial stress on Poisson's ratio has also been investigated.The velocity anisotropy is larger for S waves than for P waves and practically disappears in saturated samples. Birefringence is attenuated in saturated samples.Inversion of the results using Crampin's model gives values of the crack densities in three directions, in qualitative agreement with the state of cracking observed by scanning electron microscopy. In particular, the crack density is found to be near zero in sandstones with rounded pores only. After thermally induced cracking the crack density is found to be nearly equal 20 percent; uniaxial stress closes the cracks in the plane normal to the stress. Also, in naturally cracked samples the crack density is found to be quite high. Uniaxial stress causes the density of cracks to decrease, mostly in the plane normal to the stress.
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M. Zamora, J. Poirier. Experimental study of acoustic anisotropy and birefringence in dry and saturated Fontainebleau sandstone. Geophysics, Society of Exploration Geophysicists, 1990, 55 (11), pp.1455-1465. ⟨10.1190/1.1442793⟩. ⟨insu-01771614⟩

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