Fracture behavior at low effective stress

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By USGS, Menlo Park (Scott Haefner) and U.S. Geological Survey. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Harry Lisabeth, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

The behavior of the upper crust is controlled in large part by fractures. Fractures are the conduits of fluid flow, facilitate reactions and transport of mass, and mediate deformation large and small. Fractures are not static features, but rather are sensitive to the hydraulic, chemical and mechanical environment in which they are set. I'll present the results of a multimodal experimental study of the physical properties of fluid-saturated, fractured rock in response to changes in fluid chemistry and stress. Complementary measurements were made of changes in the fracture's physical structure to investigate the origins of the modified physical properties. The role of stress is shown to dominate the role of fluid composition, particularly at low effective stress, where nonlinear behavior becomes prevalent. I'll discuss the results in the context of geological engineering efforts, induced seismicity and the potential for remotely mapping stress in the subsurface.

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