Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A magnetic method for determining the geometry of hydraulic fractures

January 1, 1976

We propose a method that may be used to determine the spatial orientation of the fracture plane developed during hydraulic fracture. In the method, magnetic particles are injected into the crack with the fracturing fluid so as to generate a sheet of magnetized material. Since the magnetization of a body with extreme dimension ratios, such as a crack, exceeds that of an equidimensional body and since this magnetization is sensitive both to orientation and geometry, this could be used to obtain information about the crack. By measuring the vertical and horizontal components of the magnetic field and field gradients at the earth's surface surrounding the injection well with superconducting magnetometers having 10-4 gamma sensitivity and also by measuring field direction within the well itself, it should be possible to calculate the orientation and perhaps infer the approximate geometry of the fracture surface. Experiments on electric field potential operated in conjunction with this experiment could further constrain estimates of shape and orientation. ?? 1976 Birkha??user Verlag.

Publication Year 1976
Title A magnetic method for determining the geometry of hydraulic fractures
DOI 10.1007/BF00876942
Authors J. D. Byerlee, M.J.S. Johnston
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Pure and Applied Geophysics PAGEOPH
Index ID 70010858
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse