Laboratory for Applied Experimental Geophysics Department of Physics 
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Effect of Fractures on Seismic and Acoustic Wave Propagation

Measured acoustic wavefront propagated through a sample containing seven parallel fractures.  The signals were filtered to 1 MHz (on the right) and 250 kHz (on the left).  At high frequencies, strong energy confinement is observed.
 
 

Background:  The objective is to explore the dispersion relationships and scattering behavior of waves propagated across and along fractures subjected to varying conditions, such as normal & shear loads and pore pressures.  This research is designed to establish the uses and limitations of transmitted, reflected, interface waves and other seismic techniques for site characterization of waste isolation tunnels, mine stability, and other underground structures.
 

Journal Publications & Conference Proceedings:
 
Elastic Interface Waves along a Fracture
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J. and N.G.W. Cook, 1987, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 14, no. 11, pages 1107-1110, November 1987).

Seismic visibility of fractures
L.J. Pyrak-Nolte & N.G.W. Cook, L.R. Myer, Rock Mechanics: Proceedings of the 28th U.S. Symposium, University of Arizona, Tucson, 29 June - 1 July 1987, eds. I.W. Farmer, J.J.K. Daemen, C.S. Desai, C.E. Glass & S.P.Neuman, Pubs. A.A. Balkema (Rotterdam), pp. 47-56.

Transmission of Seismic Waves across Single Natural Fractures
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Myer, L. R. and N.G.W. Cook, 1990, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 95, no. B6, pages 8617-8638, June 10, 1990).

Anisotropy in Seismic Velocities and Amplitudes from Multiple Parallel Fractures
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Myer, L. R. and N.G.W. Cook, 1990, Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 95, no. B7, pages 11,345-11,358; July 10, 1990).

Frequency Dependence of Fracture Stiffness
[Pyrak-Nolte, L. J. and D. D. Nolte, 1992, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 19, no. 3, pages 325-328, February 7, 1992]

Elastic Interface Waves along a Fracture:  Theory and Experiment
[Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Xu, J. abd G. M. Haley, 1992, in the proceedings  of the 33rd U. S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Sata Fe, New Mexico 3-5 June, 1992, editors:  Tillerson & Wawersik, Balkema, Rotterdam, 999-1007]

Variation of Shear-Wave Amplitude during Frictional Sliding,
W.Y. Chan, C.W. Lovell, G.M. Haley, L.J. Pyrak-Nolte, International Journal of Rock Mechanics Mining Science & Geomechanics Abstracts, Vol.30, No. 7, pp. 779-784, 1993. 

Wavelet Analysis of Velocity Dispersion of Elastic Interface Waves Propagating along a Fracture
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J. and D. D. Nolte, 1995, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 22, no. 11, pages 1329-1332,June 1, 1995).

Interface Waves Propagating along Tensile Fractures in Dolomite
(Roy, S. and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, 1995, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 22, no. 20, pages 2773-2776, October 15,  1995).

Interface waves
(Gu, B., Nihei, K., Myer, L. R., and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, Journal of Geophysical Research, v101, n.1 , p827, 1995)

Elastic interface wave propagation along a fracture,
K.Nihei, B. Gu, L. Myer, L .Pyrak-Nolte, N. Cook, 1995, Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress on Rock Mechanics, eds. Herausgeber & T. Fujii, Tokyo, Japan, 1995, pp. 1151-1157.

Interface waves along fractures
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Mullenbach, B. L., and S. Roy, Journal of Applied Geophysics ,  35, 79-87, 1996)

Incipient Interface Waves used to Monitor Rock Failure
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Roy, S. and C. Neumann, Proceedings of teh 2nd North American Rock Mechanics Symposium: NARMS'96 Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 19-21 June 1996, editors M. Aubertin, F. Hassani & H. Mitri, A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam, 1169-1175, 1996)

The Seismic Response of Fractures and the Interrelationships Among Fracture Properties
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., International Journal of Rock Mechanics Mining Science & Geomechanics Abstracts, Vol. 33, No. 8, pp785-802)

Observation of a Distinct Compressional-Mode Interface Waves on a Single Fracture
(Roy, S. and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, 1997, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 24, no. 2, pages 173-176,January 15, 1997).

Transition from the displacement discontinuity limit to the resonant scattering regime for fracture interface waves
(Nolte, D. D., Pyrak-Nolte, L. J., Beachy, J. and C. Ziegler, International Journal of Rock Mechanics Mining Science & Geomechanics Abstracts, vol 37, p219-230., 2000 )

Monitoring Fracture Evolution with Compressional-Mode Interface Waves
(Pyrak-Nolte, L. J. and S. Roy, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 27, no 20, pp3397-3400, 2000).

Compressional Waves Guided between Parallel Fractures
(Xian, C. J., Pyrak-Nolte, L. J. and D. D. Nolte, International Journal of Rock Mechanics Mining Science & Geomechanics Abstracts, (accepted for publication 2001))

Seismic Focusing by a Single Fracture
(Oliger, A., Nolte, D. D. and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, Geophysical Research Letters, vol 30,  no 5, 1203, doi:10.1029/2002GL016264, 2003)

Seismic Monitoring of Fracture Alteration by Mineral Deposition
(Gilbert, Z. and L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, Proceedings of Gulf Rocks 2004, 6th North American Rock Mechanics Symposium, Houston, Texas, 2004))

Fracture anisotropy:  The role of fracture-stiffness gradients
(L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, The Leading Edge, September 2007, Vol 26, No. 9, 1124-1127)

Laboratory-scale study of field of view and the seismic interpretation of fracture specific stiffness
(A. Acosta-Colon, L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, D. D. Nolte, Geophysical Prospecting, 2009 57, 209-224).

Microbially-Induced Heterogeneity in the Acoustic Properties of Porous Media
(Davis, C. A., L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, E. A. Atekwana, D. D. Werkema Jr., and M. E. Haugen, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2009GL039569, 2009)

The effect of fabric-controlled layering on compressional and shear wave propagation in carbonate rock
Weiwei Li, Christopher Petrovitch, Laura J.Pyrak-Nolte, Internation Journal of the JCRM, Japanese Committee for Rock Mechanics, Special Issue on Geophysics, Volume 4, Number 2, November 2009, pp 79-85.

Acoustic and electrical property changes due to microbial growth and biofilm formation in porous media
Davis, C. A., L. J. Pyrak-Nolte, E. A. Atekwana, D. D. Werkema Jr., and M. E. Haugen (2010), Journal of Geophyysical Research, 115, doi:10.1029/2009JG001143.

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