Abstract

New data sets from natural faults and extension fractures exhibit simple power-law scaling across 3.4–4.9 orders of magnitude, regardless of rock type or movement mode. The data show no evidence of natural gaps or scaling changes. Each data set consists of independent measurements made at different observational scales; a power-law regression to the subset of smaller fractures in each case provides an extrapolation that accurately predicts associated larger fractures. Consequently, data representing a limited range of fracture sizes may be used to characterize a much broader spectrum of fracture sizes.

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