We studied the elastic properties of a fault zone intersecting the Opalinus Clay formation at 300m depth in the Mont Terri Underground Research Laboratory (Switzerland). Four controlled water injection experiments were performed in borehole straddle intervals set at successive locations across the fault zone. A three-component displacement sensor, which allowed capturing the borehole wall movements during injection, was used to estimate the elastic properties of representative locations across the fault zone, from the host rock to the damage zone to the fault core. Young's moduli were estimated by an analytical approach. Results show a decrease in Young's modulus from the host rock to the damage zone by a factor of 5 and from the damage zone to the fault core by a factor of 2. In the host rock, our results are in reasonable agreement with laboratory data showing a strong elastic anisotropy characterized by the direction of the plane of isotropy parallel to the laminar structure of the shale formation. In the fault zone, strong rotations of the direction of anisotropy can be observed.
Fault Zone Elastic Properties Investigated by Fluid Injection
Jeanne, P., Guglielmi, Y., Rutqvist, R., Birkholzer, J., and C. Nussbaum. "Fault Zone Elastic Properties Investigated by Fluid Injection." Paper presented at the 52nd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, Seattle, Washington, June 2018.
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