Pure and Applied Geophysics

, Volume 176, Issue 2, pp 901–924 | Cite as

Reservoir Characterization Through Target-Oriented AVA-Petrophysical Inversions with Spatial Constraints

  • Mattia AleardiEmail author
  • Fabio Ciabarri
  • Timur Gukov


We apply three methods that use different regularization strategies to insert spatial constraints into the seismic-petrophysical inversion. The first method is what we call the structurally constrained inversion (SCI), which directly uses the structural information brought by the seismic stack image to insert geological (structural) constraints into the inversion. The second method is based on anisotropic Markov random field (AMRF) and uses the Huber energy function to reasonably model the spatial heterogeneity of petrophysical reservoir properties. Finally, the last method includes both geostatistical information (describing the lateral variability of reservoir properties) and hard data (i.e. well log data) constraints into the inversion kernel (GHDC inversion). For computationally feasibility, we apply a target-oriented inversion that uses the amplitude versus angle (AVA) responses extracted along the top reservoir reflections to infer the petrophysical properties of interest (i.e. porosity, water saturation and shaliness) for the target layer. In particular, an empirical, linear rock-physics model, properly calibrated for the investigated area, is used to rewrite the P-wave reflectivity equation as a function of the petrophysical contrasts instead of the elastic constants. This reformulation allows for a direct and a simultaneous estimation of petrophysical properties from AVA data. The implemented approaches are tested both on synthetic and field seismic data and compared against the standard method in which each AVA response is inverted independently (laterally unconstrained Bayesian inversion; LUBI). In the case of poor signal-to-noise ratio it turns out that the three considered spatially constrained methods achieve better delineations of reservoir bodies and provide more reliable results than the standard LUBI approach. More in detail, the AMRF recovers sharper geological boundaries than the SCI and GHDC algorithms. The SCI algorithms is more sensitive to data noise, whereas the key advantage of the GHDC consists in analytically providing posterior uncertainties for the model parameters. Finally, for what concerns the computational cost the GHDC and the SCI methods result the most and the least computationally demanding, respectively.


Exploration seismic seismic inversion reservoir characterization 



The authors wish to thank Edison for making the well log data and the seismic data available and for the permission to publish this paper. At the University of Pisa, the seismic data were processed with the Promax software of Landmark/Halliburton who is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of PisaPisaItaly
  2. 2.EdisonMilanoItaly

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