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Title: Rapid clay precipitation in explosion-induced fractures

Abstract

Fractures within the earth control rock strength and fluid flow, but their dynamic nature is not well understood. As part of a series of underground chemical explosions in granite in Nevada, we collected and analyzed microfracture density data sets prior to, and following, individual explosions. Our work shows an ~4-fold increase in both open and filled microfractures following the explosions. Based on the timing of core retrieval, filling of some new fractures occurs in as little as 6 wk after fracture opening under shallow (<100 m) crustal conditions. These results suggest that near-surface fractures may fill quite rapidly, potentially changing permeability on time scales relevant to oil, gas, and geothermal energy production; carbon sequestration; seismic cycles; and radionuclide migration from nuclear waste storage and underground nuclear explosions.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
OSTI Identifier:
1574701
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1575272
Report Number(s):
SAND-2019-10161J; SAND-2019-3847J
Journal ID: ISSN 0091-7613; 678913
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000; A0003525
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Geology
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 47; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 0091-7613
Publisher:
Geological Society of America
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Swanson, Erika, Sussman, Aviva, and Wilson, Jennifer. Rapid clay precipitation in explosion-induced fractures. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1130/G46957.1.
Swanson, Erika, Sussman, Aviva, & Wilson, Jennifer. Rapid clay precipitation in explosion-induced fractures. United States. doi:10.1130/G46957.1.
Swanson, Erika, Sussman, Aviva, and Wilson, Jennifer. Tue . "Rapid clay precipitation in explosion-induced fractures". United States. doi:10.1130/G46957.1. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1574701.
@article{osti_1574701,
title = {Rapid clay precipitation in explosion-induced fractures},
author = {Swanson, Erika and Sussman, Aviva and Wilson, Jennifer},
abstractNote = {Fractures within the earth control rock strength and fluid flow, but their dynamic nature is not well understood. As part of a series of underground chemical explosions in granite in Nevada, we collected and analyzed microfracture density data sets prior to, and following, individual explosions. Our work shows an ~4-fold increase in both open and filled microfractures following the explosions. Based on the timing of core retrieval, filling of some new fractures occurs in as little as 6 wk after fracture opening under shallow (<100 m) crustal conditions. These results suggest that near-surface fractures may fill quite rapidly, potentially changing permeability on time scales relevant to oil, gas, and geothermal energy production; carbon sequestration; seismic cycles; and radionuclide migration from nuclear waste storage and underground nuclear explosions.},
doi = {10.1130/G46957.1},
journal = {Geology},
number = 12,
volume = 47,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {10}
}

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