How does the Textural Character of Alpine Fault Rocks Influence their Elasticity and Anisotropy
The DFDP-1A and DFDP-1B boreholes drilled in 2011 enabled the collection of samples of unaltered Alpine Fault Zone rock. We present laboratory measurements of the elastic properties of these samples, as well as protoliths collected at outcrops. These data were collected with a unique non-contacting laser ultrasonic system, and transducers under a range of pressure conditions representative of the upper-crust. Based on the laser measurements we conclude that there is strong anisotropy in the foliated protoliths, particularly in the protomylonites. We also show that even at core scale, the anisotropy is scale dependent (there are systematic relationships between wavelength and mineral foliation). For the cataclasites, preliminary data show that elastic wave anisotropy decreases as we approach the Principal Slip Zone, in the two boreholes. The P-wave velocities exhibit a high pressure dependence for the borehole samples, meaning that most of the cracks are closed before an effective pressure of 5MPa, reducing the elastic anisotropy. However, on a cataclasite sample, the S-wave velocity measurements, polarized perpendicular and parallel to the fractures, exhibit weak anisotropy (γ=13%) at 20MPa, even when the P-wave velocity - pressure curve displays an asymptotic shape. This observation probably indicates that elastic anisotropy results from preferred mineral orientation rather than fractures. The elastic wave measurements are complemented with petrographical, XRD, XRF, SEM and CT scan analyses to understand the source of the elastic wave anisotropic behavior in the Alpine Fault damaged zone. Finally, the laboratory data are compared to the P-wave sonic log to understand the effect of elastic wave anisotropy, fluid pressures and mineralogy.