Thermoelastic logging for rock thermal properties

Bikash K. Sinha, Andrew N. Norris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Thermoelastic logging can detect differences between the borehole fluid and the far-field formation temperatures. Radial temperature distributions caused by such temperature differences introduce thermal stresses in the near-wellbore region that perturb the borehole Stoneley and flexural dispersions. Thermal stresses are determined in terms of the rock Lame constants (λ and μ) and thermal expansion coefficient (α) for a given radial variation of temperature between the borehole fluid and far-field formation temperatures. This paper describes a volume integral formulation that computes changes in the borehole dispersions caused by the presence of radially varying thermal stresses away from the borehole surface. Differences between borehole dispersions in the presence and absence of such thermal deformation can be used to estimate the rock thermoelastic constant and associated thermal expansion coefficient. These properties are estimated within the radial depth of investigation of sonic tools when the borehole fluid temperature and radial variation of rock temperature away from the borehole surface are known. Characteristic differences in the dipole and Stoneley dispersions provide evidence of either increasing or decreasing temperatures away from the borehole surface. These signatures can be used to estimate the magnitude of tensile or compressive thermal stresses at the borehole surface together with the radial boundary of the temperature variation until the steady-state far-field temperature is attained. Differences between the borehole fluid and steady-state formation temperatures can, therefore, be used to introduce tensile fractures at the borehole surface or to maintain wellbore stability by maintaining thermal stresses within a safe window.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2013
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2013
Event2013 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2013 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: Jul 21 2013Jul 25 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS
ISSN (Print)1948-5719
ISSN (Electronic)1948-5727


Other2013 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2013
CountryCzech Republic

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


  • Borehole sonic dispersions
  • Borehole waves
  • Elastic wave propagation
  • Thermal stresses
  • Thermoelasticity

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Thermoelastic logging for rock thermal properties'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this