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Experimental postseismic recovery of fractured rocks assisted by calcite sealing

Aben, FM; Doan, M-L; Gratier, J-P; Renard, F; (2017) Experimental postseismic recovery of fractured rocks assisted by calcite sealing. Geophysical Research Letters , 44 (14) pp. 7228-7238. 10.1002/2017GL073965.

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Abstract

Postseismic recovery within fault damage zones involves slow healing of coseismic fractures leading to permeability reduction and strength increase with time. To better understand this process, experiments were performed by long-term fluid percolation with calcite precipitation through predamaged quartz-monzonite samples subjected to upper crustal conditions of stress and temperature. This resulted in a P wave velocity recovery of 50% of its initial drop after 64 days. In contrast, the permeability remained more or less constant for the duration of the experiment. Microstructures, fluid chemistry, and X-ray microtomography demonstrate that incipient calcite sealing and asperity dissolution are responsible for the P wave velocity recovery. The permeability is unaffected because calcite precipitates outside of the main flow channels. The highly nonparallel evolution of strength recovery and permeability suggests that fluid conduits within fault damage zones can remain open fluid conduits after an earthquake for much longer durations than suggested by the seismic monitoring of fault healing.

Type: Article
Title: Experimental postseismic recovery of fractured rocks assisted by calcite sealing
DOI: 10.1002/2017GL073965
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2017GL073965
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Multidisciplinary, Geology, SHALLOW FAULT ZONE, 1992 M7.5 LANDERS, HYDROTHERMAL CONDITIONS, FLUID-FLOW, PRESSURE SOLUTION, SEISMIC VELOCITY, TEMPORAL-CHANGES, SAN-ANDREAS, EARTHQUAKE, PRECIPITATION
UCL classification: UCL > School of BEAMS
UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573290
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