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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-18
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-18
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 25 Mar 2019

Research article | 25 Mar 2019

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This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Solid Earth (SE) and is expected to appear here in due course.

Seismic attenuation and dispersion in poroelastic media with fractures of variable aperture distributions

Simón Lissa1, Nicolás D. Barbosa2, J. Germán Rubino3, and Beatriz Quintal1 Simón Lissa et al.
  • 1Institute of Earth Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 3CONICET, Centro Atómico Bariloche – Comisión Nacional de Energía Atómica, S.C. de Bariloche, Argentina

Abstract. Considering poroelastic media containing aligned periodic fractures, we numerically quantify the effects that fractures with variable aperture distributions have on seismic wave attenuation and velocity dispersion due to fluid pressure diffusion (FPD). To achieve this, realistic models of fractures are generated with a stratified percolation algorithm which provides statistical control over geometrical fracture properties such as density and distribution of contact areas. The results are sensitive to both geometrical properties, showing that an increase in the density of contact areas as well as a decrease in their correlation length, reduce the effective seismic attenuation and the corresponding velocity dispersion. Moreover, no FPD effects are observed in addition to the one occurring between the fractures and the background, in the analysed frequency range, by considering realistic fracture models. We demonstrated that if appropriate equivalent physical properties accounting for the effects of contact areas are employed, a simple planar fracture can be used to emulate the seismic response of fractures with realistic aperture distributions. The excellent agreement between their seismic responses is demonstrated for all incidence angles and wave modes.

Simón Lissa et al.
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Interactive discussion
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Status: closed
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Simón Lissa et al.
Simón Lissa et al.
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Short summary
We quantify the effects that 3-D fractures with realistic distributions of aperture have on seismic wave attenuation and velocity dispersion. Attenuation and dispersion are caused by fluid pressure diffusion between the fractures and the porous background. We show that (i) both an increase in the density of contact areas and a decrease in their correlation length reduce attenuation and (ii) a simple planar fracture can be used to emulate the seismic response of realistic fracture models.
We quantify the effects that 3-D fractures with realistic distributions of aperture have on...
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