Title: Acoustic properties in travertines and their relation to porosity and pore types
Authors: Soete, Jeroen ×
Kleipool, Luuk
Claes, Hannes
Claes, Steven
Hamaekers, Helen
Kele, Sandor
Özkul, Mehmet
Foubert, Anneleen
Reijmer, John
Swennen, Rudy #
Issue Date: 2015
Publisher: Butterworth Scientific Ltd.
Series Title: Marine and Petroleum Geology vol:59 pages:320-335
Abstract: Sonic velocities of Pleistocene travertines were measured under variable confining pressures. Combined
with petrographical characteristics and petrophysical data, i.e. porosity, permeability and density, it was
determined that travertine porosity, pore types and cementation control compressional-wave (Vp) and
shear-wave velocity (Vs). At 40 MPa confining pressures, Vp ranges between 3695 and 6097 m/s and Vs
between 2037 and 3140 m/s. Velocity variations in travertines are, as with all carbonates, primarily
linked to sample heterogeneity, i.e. differences in fabric, texture and porosity. They thus not necessarily
emanate from changes in mineralogy or composition. Body wave velocities have a positive correlation
with sample density and an inverse correlation with porosity. The travertines, sampled in extensional
settings with normal faulting activity, define a specific compressional-wave velocity (y-axis) versus
porosity (x-axis) equation, i.e. (log(y) ¼ 0.0048x þ 3.7844) that differs from the Vp-porosity paths
defined by marine carbonates. Acoustic wave velocities are higher for travertines than for marine car-
bonates. Travertine precipitates form rigid rock frames, often called framestone, with large primary
pores. Marine carbonates on the other hand often consist of (cemented) transported sediments, resulting
in a rock frame that permits slower wave propagation when compared to the continental limestones.
Acoustic velocity variations are linked to variations in pore types. Mouldic pores (macropores) show
faster wave propagation than expected from their total porosities. Microporosity, interlaminar and
interpeloidal porosity result in slower acoustic velocities. Framework pores and micro-moulds are
associated with lowered acoustic velocities, while vug porosity is found above, on and below the general
velocity-porosity trend. Not only the pore type, but also pore shapes exert control on body wave ve-
locities. Cuboid-and rod-like pore shapes increase the velocity, while plate-and blade-like pore shapes
have a negative effect on the velocity. The study demonstrates how seismic sections in travertine systems
can contain seismic reflections that are not caused by non-carbonate intercalations, but relate to geobody
boundaries, in which the seismic expression is function of porosity, pore types and shapes. This study
provides and relates petrophysical data, i.e. porosity, permeability and acoustic velocities of travertines
and is of importance for the interpretation of seismic reflection data in subsurface continental carbonate
ISSN: 0264-8172
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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