Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Marine Geology and Geophysics (Marine)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Gregor P. Eberli

Second Committee Member

Guoqing Lin

Third Committee Member

Donald F. McNeill

Fourth Committee Member

Ralf J. Weger


The understanding of the relationship between seismic method and geological architecture has been improved since rock physics studies revealed the empirical relations between acoustic velocity and rock properties such as density, porosity, pore fluid type. Most rock physics studies focused on either siliciclastics or carbonates. In contrast, this study mainly focuses on the acoustic velocity characteristics of the mixed siliciclastic–carbonate mudstone from the Vaca Muerta Formation in the Neuquén Basin, Argentina. The acoustic velocity of 210 mixed siliciclastic–carbonate mudstone samples are measured in both saturated and dry conditions. In addition, 45 concretion samples from the Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic are measured and compared to 12 Vaca Muerta concretions. The VP values of saturated samples from the Vaca Muerta Formation vary from 2826 – 6816 m/s whereas he VS varies from 1474 – 3450 m/s with a range of porosity between 0.03-22.8%. The corresponding values of dry samples vary between 2198–6761 m/s for VP, and 1591–3434 m/s for VS. Both VP and VS show a trend of decrease in velocity with increased porosity. Moreover, velocity variations of both VP and VS were observed at any given porosity. These variations are not controlled by porosity but are mainly controlled by the combination of carbonate content, the total organic content (TOC) in the sample, and the mineralogical composition of the rock.


Acoustic Velocity; the Vaca Muerta Formation, the Neuquén Basin; mixed siliciclastic-carbonate mudstone; concretion; the Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic; unconventional

Available for download on Thursday, August 06, 2020