I recently developed a computer program that generates some petrophysical and elastic parameters from well logs such as water saturation and hydrocarbon saturation, bulk volume, irreducible water saturation, porosity, permeability, shear impedance, acoustic impedance, and poisson ratio. I would like to know which parameters to cross-plot. For example, can you use a cross-plot of depth versus acoustic impedance for detection of hydrocarbons? My analysis is aimed at reservoir characterization.

  • $\begingroup$ Neutron-density is often useful, if you have access to that data. What do you mean by generate? Is it a synthetic model? $\endgroup$
    – user2821
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ thanks a lot for the help, Neutron-density cross-plot is for differentiating the phase of the hydrocarbon(i.e either oil and gas), and i meant compute(to calculate) instead of generate. $\endgroup$
    – Taiwo
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


Short answer: it depends.

The usual workflow is, very roughly, something like this:

  1. Condition all your data. Compute any 'missing' data you need or want (e.g. porosity $\phi$, lithofacies, saturation $S_\mathrm{W}$, S-wave velocity $V_\mathrm{S}$).
  2. Inspect crossplots of relevant properties like velocity vs porosity, acoustic impedance vs elastic impedance (or maybe Poisson's ratio or ${V_\mathrm{P}}/{V_\mathrm{S}}$), and so on, colouring points by depth, $S_\mathrm{W}$ or lithofacies, say. Look for helpful discrimination.
  3. Use judgment, research, advice, or inspiration to decide on how to use the relationships you find... perhaps you are aiming for seismic inversion, or facies prediction, or log modeling, or something else.

Before doing much else, I recommend picking up Avseth et al. (Cambridge, 2005) (and/or perhaps Dvorkin et al., Cambridge, 2014) and reading it from cover to cover. Here are some short reviews and more details on these books. Alessandro Amato's two recent tutorials in SEG's Leading Edge will help too, especially if you're using Python. If you're in MATLAB, a lot of the code for those books, which are both by the rock physics team at Stanford, is available online.

Here are some nice $V_\mathrm{P}/V_\mathrm{S}$ vs acoustic impedance $I_\mathrm{P}$ crossplots from Amato's second tutorial to inspire you:

Vp/Vs vs P-wave impedance

  • $\begingroup$ Taiwo: You're welcome. Feel free to select it as the answer if you found it useful. Up to you though! $\endgroup$
    – Matt Hall
    Commented Aug 19, 2015 at 19:52

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