In shale gas development, fracture density is an important lithologic parameter to properly characterize reservoir reconstruction, establish a fracturing scheme, and calculate porosity and permeability. The traditional methods usually assume that the fracture reservoir is one set of aligned vertical fractures, embedded in an isotropic background, and estimate some alternative parameters associated with fracture density. Thus, the low accuracy caused by this simplified model, and the intrinsic errors caused by the indirect substitution, affect the estimation of fracture density. In this paper, the fractured rock of monoclinic symmetry assumes two non-orthogonal vertical fracture sets, embedded in a transversely isotropic background. Firstly, assuming that the fracture radius, width, and orientation are known, a new form of P-wave reflection coefficient, in terms of weak anisotropy (WA) parameters and fracture density, was obtained by substituting the stiffness coefficients of vertical transverse isotropic (VTI) background, normal, and tangential fracture compliances. Then, a linear amplitude versus offset and azimuth (AVOA) inversion method, of WA parameters and fracture density, was constructed by using Bayesian theory. Tests on synthetic data showed that WA parameters, and fracture density, are stably estimated in the case of seismic data containing a moderate noise, which can provide a reliable tool in fracture prediction.
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