Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Create New Way to Study Ground Fractures

06.02.2012
Boise State University geophysics researchers have created a new way to study fractures by producing elastic waves, or vibrations, through using high-intensity light focused directly on the fracture itself.

The new technique developed in the Physical Acoustics Lab at Boise State may help determine if there is a fluid, such as magma or water, or natural gas inside fractures in the Earth.

Typically, scientists create sound waves at the surface to listen for echoes from fractures in the ground, but this new technique could provide more accurate information about the cracks because sound does not have to travel to the fracture and back again. The new technique aims to enhance scientists’ abilities to image faults in the Earth, including those man-made through the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The new method is explained in a paper that appears online in the journal Physical Review Letters.

“These concepts are of great importance in earthquake dynamics, but also in exploration of hydrocarbons,” said study coauthor Thomas Blum, a Boise State doctoral student. “If we can understand, for example, the microscopic structure of fracture points using this technique, we might be able to learn how, exactly, earthquakes happen. Scientists do not yet fully understand the structure of the faults, so if we could remotely sense the structure of faults, we might be able to learn more.”

Blum and Kasper van Wijk, associate professor of geosciences at Boise State, came up with the new technique by focusing laser light directly onto a fracture inside a transparent sample to create elastic waves. The researchers proved that laser-based ultrasonic techniques can “excite,” or cause vibrations, in the fracture. The result – jointly obtained with scientists at Colorado School of Mines and ConocoPhillips – opens up the possibility of measuring variations in the fracture and diagnosing the mechanical properties of fractures by directly exciting them.

Learn More About Research at Boise State University
An emerging metropolitan research university of distinction, Boise State University has launched a new website – beyondtheblue.boisestate.edu – to showcase the research expertise and innovative spirit at the university. Known for its unique blue turf and nationally ranked football program, Boise State is demonstrating its creativity beyond the blue in an ongoing series of faculty podcasts where faculty experts provide insight into today’s issues, challenges and topics of interest.

Matt Pene | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.boisestate.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht New plate adds plot twist to ancient tectonic tale
15.08.2017 | Rice University

nachricht Global warming will leave different fingerprints on global subtropical anticyclones
14.08.2017 | Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

Im Focus: Scientists improve forecast of increasing hazard on Ecuadorian volcano

Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, the Italian Space Agency (ASI), and the Instituto Geofisico--Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) of Ecuador, showed an increasing volcanic danger on Cotopaxi in Ecuador using a powerful technique known as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR).

The Andes region in which Cotopaxi volcano is located is known to contain some of the world's most serious volcanic hazard. A mid- to large-size eruption has...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New thruster design increases efficiency for future spaceflight

16.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Transporting spin: A graphene and boron nitride heterostructure creates large spin signals

16.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

A new method for the 3-D printing of living tissues

16.08.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>