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Characterisation of sub-surface fracture systems using information from surface exposures

The project aimed to develop a methodology for integrating fracture data from boreholes with data collected from geologicil surface mapping. This will aid in the preparation of more reliable models of sub-surface fracture systems. An additional goal of the project was the publication of site specific data for the use of other research groups.

Borehole data gives information on the orientation, density and other properties of fractures in the sub-surface. However, the ability of sub-surface fracture systems to transmit fluid depends on the connectivity of the fractures, a parameter which cannot be directly evaluated from borehole data. Surface data (where suitable outcrops exist) is able to provide information on the extent, connectivity and structural systematics of the fracture system. One drawback of using surface parameters, however, is that they may have been substantially modified by the uplift process. Rocks that have been buried undergo stress release as they are uplifted closer to the surface. This may cause the creation of new fractures and the modification of existing fractures. In order to integrate borehole and surface, data it is necessary to understand such processes. It is therefore important to understand the factors involved with the uplift of rocks, in order to systematically transform surface observations into representations of the deep system. This can only be achieved by integrating the geology and tectonic history of a particular site with models of the uplift process. The eventual goal of the project was therefore to develop a three-dimensional description of the fracture system at depth, derived from one-dimensional borehole data and two-dimensional surface measurements.

Reported by

GeoScience Ltd
The Falmouth Business Park Bickland Water Road RES_OG_PCD TR11 4SZ
United Kingdom
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