The Mallik 2L-38 research well was drilled to 1150 m under the Mackenzie Delta, Canada, and penetrated a subpermafrost interval where methane hydrate occupies up to 80% of the pore space. A suite of high-quality downhole logs was acquired to measure in situ the physical properties of these hydrate-bearing sediments. Similar to other hydrate deposits, resistivity and compressional and shear sonic velocity data increase with higher hydrate saturation owing to electrical insulation of the pore space and stiffening of the sediment framework. In addition, sonic waveforms show strong amplitude losses of both compressional and shear waves in intervals where methane hydrate is observed. We use monopole and dipole waveforms to estimate compressional and shear attenuation. Comparing with hydrate saturation values derived from the resistivity log, we observe a linear increase in both attenuation measurements with increasing hydrate saturation, which is not intuitive for stiffening sediments. Numerical modeling of the waveforms allows us to reproduce the recorded waveforms and illustrate these results. We also use a model for wave propagation in frozen porous media to explain qualitatively the loss of sonic waveform amplitude in hydrate-bearing sediments. We suggest that this model can be improved and extended, allowing hydrate saturation to be quantified from attenuation measurements in similar environments and providing new insight into how hydrate and its sediment host interact.
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