Rupture Directivity in 3D Inferred From Acoustic Emissions Events in a Mine-Scale Hydraulic Fracturing Experiment
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Frontiers Research Foundation
DirectivityEarthquake sourceInduced seismicityHydraulic fracturingAcoustic emissions
López-Comino JÁ, Cesca S, Niemz P, Dahm T and Zang A (2021) Rupture Directivity in 3D Inferred From Acoustic Emissions Events in a Mine-Scale Hydraulic Fracturing Experiment. Front. Earth Sci. 9:670757. doi: [10.3389/feart.2021.670757]
SponsorshipEuropean Commission 754446 691728; UGR Research and Knowledge Transfer Found -Athenea3i; German Research Foundation (DFG) 407141557; EU project PostMinQuake, RFCS 899192
Rupture directivity, implying a predominant earthquake rupture propagation direction, is typically inferred upon the identification of 2D azimuthal patterns of seismic observations for weak to large earthquakes using surface-monitoring networks. However, the recent increase of 3D monitoring networks deployed in the shallow subsurface and underground laboratories toward the monitoring of microseismicity allows to extend the directivity analysis to 3D modeling, beyond the usual range of magnitudes. The high-quality full waveforms recorded for the largest, decimeter-scale acoustic emission (AE) events during a meter-scale hydraulic fracturing experiment in granites at similar to 410 m depth allow us to resolve the apparent durations observed at each AE sensor to analyze 3D-directivity effects. Unilateral and (asymmetric) bilateral ruptures are then characterized by the introduction of a parameter kappa, representing the angle between the directivity vector and the station vector. While the cloud of AE activity indicates the planes of the hydrofractures, the resolved directivity vectors show off-plane orientations, indicating that rupture planes of microfractures on a scale of centimeters have different geometries. Our results reveal a general alignment of the rupture directivity with the orientation of the minimum horizontal stress, implying that not only the slip direction but also the fracture growth produced by the fluid injections is controlled by the local stress conditions.