On the Fluid Dependence of Seismic Anisotropy: Beyond Biot-Gassmann


This work addresses the question of the fluid dependence of the non-dimensional parameters of seismic anisotropy. It extends the classic theory of the fluid-dependence of elasticity, and applies the approximation of weak seismic anisotropy. The analysis shows that reliance upon the classic theory leads to oversimplified conclusions. Extending the classic theory introduces new parameters (which must be experimentally determined) into the conclusions, making their application in the field context highly problematic.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References Cited

  1. Backus, G. E., 1962. Long-Wave Elastic Anisotropy Produced by Horizontal Layering. Journal of Geophysical Research, 67(11): 4427–4440. https://doi.org/10.1029/jz067i011p04427

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Biot, M. A., 1941. General Theory of Three-Dimensional Consolidation. Journal of Applied Physics, 12(2): 155–164. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.1712886

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Brown, R. J. S., Korringa, J., 1975. On the Dependence of the Elastic Properties of a Porous Rock on the Compressibility of the Pore Fluid. Geophysics, 40(4): 608–616. https://doi.org/10.1190/1.1440551

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Collet, O., Gurevich, B., 2013. Fluid Dependence of Anisotropy Parameters in Weakly Anisotropic Porous Media. Geophysics, 78(5): WC137–WC145. https://doi.org/10.1190/geo2012-0499.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Gassmann, F., 1951. Űber die Elastizität Poroser Medien, Mitteilungen Inst. Geophysik (Zurich), 17: l–23. Translated and Reprinted as: On elasticity of Porous Media, in Classics of Elastic Wave Theory. Pelissier, M. A., ed., Soc. Expl. Geoph., Tulsa

    Google Scholar 

  6. Hart, D. J., Wang, H. F., 2010. Variation of Unjacketed Pore Compressibility Using Gassmann’s Equation and an Overdetermined Set of Volumetric Poroelastic Measurements. Geophysics, 75(1): N9–N18. https://doi.org/10.1190/1.3277664

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Thomsen, L., 1986. Weak Elastic Anisotropy. Geophysics, 51(10): 1954–1966. https://doi.org/10.1190/1.1442051

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Thomsen, L., 2010. On the Fluid Dependence of Rock Compressibility: Biot-Gassmann Refined. Soc. Expl. Geoph. Conv. Expnd. Absts., 80: 2447–2451

    Google Scholar 

  9. Thomsen, L., 2012. On the Fluid Dependence of the Parameters of Anisotropy. Soc. Expl. Geoph. Conv. Expnd. Absts., 82, https://doi.org/10.1190/segam2012-0393.1

    Google Scholar 

  10. Thomsen, L., 2017. On the Fluid Dependence of Rock Compressibility: A Reconsideration, submitted to GEOPHYSICS, 2017.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Tsvankin, I., Grechka, V., 2011. Seismology of Azimuthally Anisotropic Media and Seismic Fracture Characterization. Soc. Expl. Geoph., Tulsa. ISBN:978-1560802280

    Google Scholar 

Download references


I appreciate many tough discussions with J. Berryman (LBNL), and B. Gurevich (Curtin), and a tough review by I. Tsvankin (CSM) of a different manuscript. The final publication is available at Springer via https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-017-0806-9.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Leon Thomsen.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Thomsen, L. On the Fluid Dependence of Seismic Anisotropy: Beyond Biot-Gassmann. J. Earth Sci. 29, 1335–1339 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12583-017-0806-9

Download citation

Key words

  • Biot
  • Gassmann
  • incompressibility
  • fluids
  • fluid substitution
  • pore compressibility