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Solid earth sciences
Session convener-recommended article JpGU Meeting 2014
Simultaneous measurements of elastic wave velocities and electrical conductivity in a brine-saturated granitic rock under confining pressures and their implication for interpretation of geophysical observations
Watanabe T, Higuchi A
Seismic velocity, Electrical conductivity, Fluid, Crack, Pore
Simultaneous measurements of elastic wave velocity and electrical conductivity in a brine-saturated granitic rock were conducted under confining pressures of up to 180 MPa. Contrasting changes in velocity and conductivity were observed. As the confining pressure increased to 50 MPa, compressional and shear wave velocities increased by less than 10 %. On the other hand, electrical conductivity decreased by an order of magnitude. Both changes must be caused by the closure of cracks under pressures. Microstructural examinations showed that most cracks were open grain boundaries. In reality, a crack is composed of many segments with different apertures. If crack segments have a similar length, segments with small apertures are closed at low pressures to greatly reduce conductivity, while those with wide apertures are open even at high pressures. The latter must form an interconnected fluid path to maintain the electrical conduction through fluid. A power law distribution of apertures causes a steep decrease in conductivity at low pressures. An empirical relation between the crack density parameter and normalized conductivity was obtained. The normalized conductivity is the ratio of bulk conductivity to the conductivity of a pore fluid. This relation should be a basis for quantitative interpretation of observed seismic velocity and electrical conductivity.