ABSTRACT

We estimate attenuation at subseismic frequencies from an experimental creep test performed on a thermally cracked water-saturated glass sample. The time-dependent axial stress and strain rates are used to infer the attenuation and Young’s modulus as functions of frequency. Attenuation is characterized by a pronounced frequency dependence between 3×104 and 7×103  Hz. A corresponding frequency-dependent behavior of the Young’s modulus is observed with an increase from 60 to 70 GPa, which is consistent with the measured static and ultrasonic values. These observations are interpreted as being due to fluid flow between interconnected cracks in the mesoscopic scale range. To test this hypothesis, we compare the analytical characteristic frequency for the presumed mesoscopic squirt-type flow with its experimental counterpart. We also compare the experimentally observed attenuation characteristics with results of numerical simulations. For the latter, a thin section of the cracked glass sample has been digitized to provide essential information with regard to the geometry of the crack network. Together with the known physical properties of the intact glass matrix, this then allows for deriving a first-order 2D poroelastic model for the cracked sample based on Biot’s quasi-static equations.

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