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Experimental Investigation of Seismic Velocity Dispersion in Cracked Crystalline Rock Open Access


Other title
velocity dispersion
cracked rock
metamorphic rock
Young's modulus
shear modulus
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schijns, Heather M. E.
Supervisor and department
Schmitt, Douglas (Physics)
Examining committee member and department
Hallin, Aksel (Physics)
Beamish, John (Physics)
Heimpel, Moritz (Physics)
Priest, Jeffrey (Engineering, University of Calgary)
Department of Physics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Seismic velocity dispersion in crystalline rock is investigated through experimental measurements on two natural quartzite specimens. The quartzites are thermally damaged to induce low aspect ratio cracks and the shear and Young’s moduli are measured across a range of effective pressures, from 10-150 MPa, under dry, argon saturated and water saturated conditions. High frequency measurements (1 MHz) are made using the standard pulse transmission technique, while low frequency (0.01-1 Hz) shear measurements are made by forced torsional oscillation with the Australian National University apparatus. Low frequency Young’s modulus measurements are made using the innovative forced flexural method. Dry moduli do not show significant differences between low and high frequency results. Stiffening of argon saturated moduli is observed at high frequency, however, the low amplitude means it is not possible to confirm dispersion when compared to low frequency measurements. Both water saturated specimens display substantial dispersion, particularly at lower effective pressures when crack porosity is higher. Experimental results from one of the quartzites are compared to Gassmann and a combination of Biot and squirt flow elastic theories. Experimental low frequency shear moduli are invariant to pore fluid saturation as predicted by Gassmann, and Biot and squirt flow theory accurately describes the high frequency argon saturated shear modulus of the quartzite. Neither theory, however, adequately describes the behaviour of the Young’s modulus. The high frequency water saturated shear and Young’s moduli of the quartzites are substantially stiffer than is predicted by theory.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Jackson, I., Schijns, H., Schmitt, D.R., Mu, J.J. & Delmenico, A., 2011. A versatile facility for laboratory studies of viscoelastic and poroelastic behaviour of rocks, Review of Scientific Instruments, 82.Jackson, I., 1991. The petrophysical basis for the interpretation of seismological models for the continental lithosphere, Geological Society of Australia Special Publication, 17, 81-114.

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