Fracture and damage localization in volcanic edifice rocks from El Hierro, Stromboli and Tenerife.
ABSTRACT: We present elastic wave velocity and strength data from a suite of three volcanic rocks taken from the volcanic edifices of El Hierro and Tenerife (Canary Islands, Spain), and Stromboli (Aeolian Islands, Italy). These rocks span a range of porosity and are taken from volcanoes that suffer from edifice instability. We measure elastic wave velocities at known incident angles to the generated through-going fault as a function of imposed strain, and examine the effect of the damage zone on P-wave velocity. Such data are important as field measurements of elastic wave tomography are key tools for understanding volcanic regions, yet hidden fractures are likely to have a significant effect on elastic wave velocity. We then use elastic wave velocity evolution to calculate concomitant crack density evolution which ranges from 0 to 0.17: highest values were correlated to the damage zone in rocks with the highest initial porosity.
Project description:The origin and life cycle of ocean islands have been debated since the early days of Geology. In the case of the Canary archipelago, its proximity to the Atlas orogen led to initial fracture-controlled models for island genesis, while later workers cited a Miocene-Quaternary east-west age-progression to support an underlying mantle-plume. The recent discovery of submarine Cretaceous volcanic rocks near the westernmost island of El Hierro now questions this systematic age-progression within the archipelago. If a mantle-plume is indeed responsible for the Canaries, the onshore volcanic age-progression should be complemented by progressively younger pre-island sedimentary strata towards the west, however, direct age constraints for the westernmost pre-island sediments are lacking. Here we report on new age data obtained from calcareous nannofossils in sedimentary xenoliths erupted during the 2011 El Hierro events, which date the sub-island sedimentary rocks to between late Cretaceous and Pliocene in age. This age-range includes substantially younger pre-volcanic sedimentary rocks than the Jurassic to Miocene strata known from the older eastern islands and now reinstate the mantle-plume hypothesis as the most plausible explanation for Canary volcanism. The recently discovered Cretaceous submarine volcanic rocks in the region are, in turn, part of an older, fracture-related tectonic episode.
Project description:Underground rocks usually have complex pore system with a variety of pore types and a wide range of pore size. The effects of pore structure on elastic wave attenuation cannot be neglected. We investigated the pore structure effects on P-wave scattering attenuation in dry rocks by pore-scale modeling based on the wave theory and the similarity principle. Our modeling results indicate that pore size, pore shape (such as aspect ratio), and pore density are important factors influencing P-wave scattering attenuation in porous rocks, and can explain the variation of scattering attenuation at the same porosity. From the perspective of scattering attenuation, porous rocks can safely suit to the long wavelength assumption when the ratio of wavelength to pore size is larger than 15. Under the long wavelength condition, the scattering attenuation coefficient increases as a power function as the pore density increases, and it increases exponentially with the increase in aspect ratio. For a certain porosity, rocks with smaller aspect ratio and/or larger pore size have stronger scattering attenuation. When the pore aspect ratio is larger than 0.5, the variation of scattering attenuation at the same porosity is dominantly caused by pore size and almost independent of the pore aspect ratio. These results lay a foundation for pore structure inversion from elastic wave responses in porous rocks.
Project description:Sequestration of industrial carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geological saline aquifers is needed to mitigate global greenhouse gas emissions; monitoring the mechanical integrity of reservoir formations is essential for effective and safe operations. Clogging of fluid transport pathways in rocks from CO2-induced salt precipitation reduces injectivity and potentially compromises the reservoir storage integrity through pore fluid pressure build-up. Here, we show that early warning of salt precipitation can be achieved through geophysical remote sensing. From elastic P- and S-wave velocity and electrical resistivity monitoring during controlled laboratory CO2 injection experiments into brine-saturated quartz-sandstone of high porosity (29%) and permeability (1660 mD), and X-ray CT imaging of pore-scale salt precipitation, we were able to observe, for the first time, how CO2-induced salt precipitation leads to detectable geophysical signatures. We inferred salt-induced rock changes from (i) strain changes, (ii) a permanent?~?1.5% decrease in wave velocities, linking the geophysical signatures to salt volume fraction through geophysical models, and (iii) increases of porosity (by?~?6%) and permeability (~?7%). Despite over 10% salt saturation, no clogging effects were observed, which suggests salt precipitation could extend to large sub-surface regions without loss of CO2 injectivity into high porosity and permeability saline sandstone aquifers.
Project description:The connectivity of rocks' porous structure and the presence of fractures influence the transfer of fluids in the Earth's crust. Here, we employed laboratory experiments to measure the influence of macro-fractures and effective pressure on the permeability of volcanic rocks with a wide range of initial porosities (1-41?vol. %) comprised of both vesicles and micro-cracks. We used a hand-held permeameter and hydrostatic cell to measure the permeability of intact rock cores at effective pressures up to 30?MPa; we then induced a macro-fracture to each sample using Brazilian tensile tests and measured the permeability of these macro-fractured rocks again. We show that intact rock permeability increases non-linearly with increasing porosity and decreases with increasing effective pressure due to compactional closure of micro-fractures. Imparting a macro-fracture both increases the permeability of rocks and their sensitivity to effective pressure. The magnitude of permeability increase induced by the macro-fracture is more significant for dense rocks. We finally provide a general equation to estimate the permeability of intact and fractured rocks, forming a basis to constrain fluid flow in volcanic and geothermal systems.
Project description:The rock geomechanical properties are the key parameters for designing the drilling and fracturing operations and for programing the geomechanical earth models. During drilling, the horizontal-section drilling fluids interact with the reservoir rocks in different exposure time, and to date, there is no comprehensive work performed to study the effect of the exposure time on the changes in sandstone geomechanical properties. The objective of this paper is to address the exposure time effect on sandstone failure parameters such as unconfined compressive strength, tensile strength, acoustic properties, and dynamic elastic moduli while drilling horizontal sections using barite-weighted water-based drilling fluid. To simulate the reservoir conditions, Buff Berea sandstone core samples were exposed to the drilling fluid (using filter press) under 300 psi differential pressure and 200 °F temperature for different exposure times (up to 5 days). The rock characterization and geomechanical parameters were evaluated as a function of the exposure time. Scratch test was implemented to evaluate rock strength, while ultrasonic pulse velocity was used to obtain the sonic data to estimate dynamic elastic moduli. The rock characterization was accomplished by X-ray diffraction, nuclear magnetic resonance, and scanning electron microscope. The study findings showed that the rock compression and tensile strengths reduced as a function of exposure time (18% and 19% reduction for tensile strength and unconfined compression strength, respectively, after 5 days), while the formation damage displayed an increasing trend with time. The sonic results demonstrated an increase in the compressional and shear wave velocities with increasing exposure time. All the dynamic elastic moduli showed an increasing trend when extending the exposure time except Poisson's ratio which presented a constant behavior after 1 day. Nuclear magnetic resonance results showed 41% porosity reduction during the five days of mud interaction. Scanning electron microscope images showed that the rock internal surface topography and internal integrity changed with exposure time, which supported the observed strength reduction and sonic variation. A new set of empirical correlations were developed to estimate the dynamic elastic moduli and failure parameters as a function of the exposure time and the porosity with high accuracy.
Project description:The mechanical properties of any substance are essential facts to understand its behaviour and make the maximum use of the particular substance. Rocks are indeed an important substance, as they are of significant use in the energy industry, specifically for fossil fuels and geothermal energy. Attenuation of seismic waves is a non-destructive technique to investigate mechanical properties of reservoir rocks under different conditions. The attenuation characteristics of five different rock types, siltstone, shale, Australian sandstone, Indian sandstone and granite, were investigated in the laboratory using ultrasonic and acoustic emission instruments in a frequency range of 0.1-1 MHz. The pulse transmission technique and spectral ratios were used to calculate the attenuation coefficient (α) and quality factor (Q) values for the five selected rock types for both primary (P) and secondary (S) waves, relative to the reference steel sample. For all the rock types, the attenuation coefficient was linearly proportional to the frequency of both the P and S waves. Interestingly, the attenuation coefficient of granite is more than 22% higher than that of siltstone, sandstone and shale for both P and S waves. The P and S wave velocities were calculated based on their recorded travel time, and these velocities were then used to calculate the dynamic mechanical properties including elastic modulus (E), bulk modulus (K), shear modulus (µ) and Poisson's ratio (ν). The P and S wave velocities for the selected rock types varied in the ranges of 2.43-4.61 km s-1 and 1.43-2.41 km h-1, respectively. Furthermore, it was observed that the P wave velocity was always greater than the S wave velocity, and this confirmed the first arrival of P waves to the sensor. According to the experimental results, the dynamic E value is generally higher than the static E value obtained by unconfined compressive strength tests.
Project description:A Bayesian probability theory approach for separating overlapping ultrasonic fast and slow waves in cancellous bone has been previously introduced. The goals of this study were to investigate whether the fast and slow waves obtained from Bayesian separation of an apparently single mode signal individually correlate with porosity and to isolate the fast and slow waves from medial-lateral insonification of the calcaneus. The Bayesian technique was applied to trabecular bone data from eight human calcanei insonified in the medial-lateral direction. The phase velocity, slope of attenuation (nBUA), and amplitude were determined for both the fast and slow waves. The porosity was assessed by micro-computed tomography (microCT) and ranged from 78.7% to 94.1%. The method successfully separated the fast and slow waves from medial-lateral insonification of the calcaneus. The phase velocity for both the fast and slow wave modes showed an inverse correlation with porosity (R(2) = 0.73 and R(2) = 0.86, respectively). The slope of attenuation for both wave modes also had a negative correlation with porosity (fast wave: R(2) = 0.73, slow wave: R(2) = 0.53). The fast wave amplitude decreased with increasing porosity (R(2) = 0.66). Conversely, the slow wave amplitude modestly increased with increasing porosity (R(2) = 0.39).
Project description:Several theoretical studies indicate that a substantial fraction of the measured seismic anisotropy could be interpreted as extrinsic anisotropy associated with compositional layering in rocks, reducing the significance of strain-induced intrinsic anisotropy. Here we quantify the potential contribution of grain-scale and rock-scale compositional anisotropy to the observations by (i) combining effective medium theories with realistic estimates of mineral isotropic elastic properties and (ii) measuring velocities of synthetic seismic waves propagating through modeled strain-induced microstructures. It is shown that for typical mantle and oceanic crust subsolidus compositions, rock-scale compositional layering does not generate any substantial extrinsic anisotropy (<1%) because of the limited contrast in isotropic elastic moduli among different rocks. Quasi-laminated structures observed in subducting slabs using P and S wave scattering are often invoked as a source of extrinsic anisotropy, but our calculations show that they only generate minor seismic anisotropy (<0.1-0.2% of Vp and Vs radial anisotropy). More generally, rock-scale compositional layering, when present, cannot be detected with seismic anisotropy studies but mainly with wave scattering. In contrast, when grain-scale layering is present, significant extrinsic anisotropy could exist in vertically limited levels of the mantle such as in a mid-ocean ridge basalt-rich lower transition zone or in the uppermost lower mantle where foliated basalts and pyrolites display up to 2-3% Vp and 3-6% Vs radial anisotropy. Thus, seismic anisotropy observed around the 660-km discontinuity could be possibly related to grain-scale shape-preferred orientation. Extrinsic anisotropy can form also in a compositionally homogeneous mantle, where velocity variations associated with major phase transitions can generate up to 1% of positive radial anisotropy.
Project description:Understanding how monogenetic volcanic systems work requires full comprehension of the local and regional stresses that govern magma migration inside them and why/how they seem to change from one eruption to another. During the 2011-2012 El Hierro eruption (Canary Islands) the characteristics of unrest, including a continuous change in the location of seismicity, made the location of the future vent unpredictable, so short term hazard assessment was highly imprecise. A 3D P-wave velocity model is obtained using arrival times of the earthquakes occurred during that pre-eruptive unrest and several latter post-eruptive seismic crises not related to further eruptions. This model reveals the rheological and structural complexity of the interior of El Hierro volcanic island. It shows a number of stress barriers corresponding to regional tectonic structures and blocked pathways from previous eruptions, which controlled ascent and lateral migration of magma and, together with the existence of N-S regional compression, reduced its options to find a suitable path to reach the surface and erupt.
Project description:Large-scale landslides at volcanic islands are one of the most dangerous geological phenomena, able to generate tsunamis whose effects can propagate far from the source. However, related deposits are scarcely preserved on-land in the geologic records, and are often difficult to be interpreted. Here we show the discovery of three unprecedented well-preserved tsunami deposits related to repeated flank collapses of the volcanic island of Stromboli (Southern Italy) occurred during the Late Middle Ages. Based on carbon datings, on stratigraphic, volcanological and archaeological evidence, we link the oldest, highest-magnitude investigated tsunami to the following rapid abandonment of the island which was inhabited at that time, contrary than previously thought. The destructive power of this event is also possibly related to a huge marine storm that devastated the ports of Naples in 1343 (200?km north of Stromboli) described by the famous writer Petrarch. The portrayed devastation can be potentially attributed to the arrival of multiple tsunami waves generated by a major landslide in Stromboli island, confirming the hypothetical hazard of these phenomena at a regional scale.