The role of calcite mineral elastic moduli in carbonate rock physics

Simon S. Payne, Thomas S. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rock-physics models for carbonate reservoirs assume that the mineral elastic moduli are known variables. A review of publications reveals a range of values for calcite that are out of date and misleading. We present a robust compilation for future investigations. We subsequently discuss the application of calcite elastic moduli for rock-physics modeling and interpretation of wireline data through a case study data set from an offshore Canada carbonate reservoir. The data set exhibits an offset between the zero-porosity intercept and the calcite elastic moduli values. Our experience indicates that this phenomenon is present in many wireline data sets from carbonate reservoirs around the world. We demonstrate that the data can be reconciled to the mineral elastic moduli through the interpretation of microcracks in the formation (defined by a crack density of 0.06). Understanding the microcrack effect in relatively low-porosity formations is important for the correct calibration of pore microstructure parameters and for fluid-substitution calculations. Results in the case study data set show a relatively high sensitivity to changes in fluid saturation. The sensitivity can be reduced through the use of effective mineral elastic moduli that are derived from the data. We justify the effective mineral elastic moduli as a representation of the mineral moduli plus microcracks. The effective mineral elastic moduli are proposed as a relatively simple method to constrain the fluid substitution calculations in low-porosity formations where microcracks are present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-284
Number of pages8
JournalLeading Edge
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Geology


  • bulk modulus
  • carbonate
  • log analysis
  • reservoir characterization
  • rock physics


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