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Fracture characterization by means of attenuation and generation of tube waves in fractured crystalline rock at Mirror Lake, New Hampshire

July 10, 1987

Results are presented from experiments carried out in conjunction with the U. S. Geological Survey at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest near Mirror Lake, New Hampshire. The study focuses on our ability to obtain orientation and transmissivity estimates of naturally occurring fractures. The collected data set includes a four-offset hydrophone vertical seismic profile, full waveform acoustic logs at 5, 15, and 34 kHz, borehole televiewer, temperature, resistivity, and self-potential logs, and borehole-to-borehole pump test data. Borehole televiewer and other geophysical logs indicate that permeable fractures intersect the Mirror Lake boreholes at numerous depths, but less than half of these fractures appear to have significant permeability beyond the annulus of drilling disturbance on the basis of acoustic waveform log analysis. The vertical seismic profiling (VSP) data indicate a single major permeable fracture near a depth of 44 m, corresponding to one of the most permeable fractures identified in the acoustic waveform log analysis. VSP data also indicate a somewhat less permeable fracture at 220 m and possible fractures at depths of 103 and 135 m; all correspond to major permeable fractures in the acoustic waveform data set. Pump test data confirm the presence of a hydraulic connection between the Mirror Lake boreholes through a shallow dipping zone of permeability at 44 m in depth. Effective fracture apertures calculated from modeled transmissivities correspond to those estimated for the largest fractures indicated on acoustic waveform logs but are over an order of magnitude larger than effective apertures calculated from tube waves in the VSP data set. This discrepancy is attributed to the effect of fracture stiffness. A new model is presented to account for the mechanical strength of asperities in resisting fracture closure during the passage of seismic waves during the generation of VSPs.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1987
Title Fracture characterization by means of attenuation and generation of tube waves in fractured crystalline rock at Mirror Lake, New Hampshire
DOI 10.1029/JB092iB08p07989
Authors E.L. Hardin, C.H. Cheng, F.L. Paillet, J.D. Mendelson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research B: Solid Earth
Index ID 70185927
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Toxic Substances Hydrology Program