Charles Explorer logo

3D velocity distribution of P- and S-waves in a biotite gneiss, measured in oil as the pressure medium: Comparison with velocity measurements in a multi-anvil pressure apparatus and with texture-based calculated data

Publication at Faculty of Science, Central Library of Charles University |


Ultrasonic measurements of the 3D velocity distribution of P- and S-waves were performed on a spherical sample of a biotite gneiss from the Outokumpu scientific drill hole. Measurements were done at room temperature and pressures up to 400 and 70 MPa, respectively, in a pressure vessel with oil as a pressure medium.

A modified transducer/sample assembly and the installation of a new mechanical system allowed simultaneous measurements of P- and S-wave velocities in 132 independent directions of the sphere on a net in steps of 150. Proper signals for P- and S-waves could be recorded by coating the sample surface with a high-viscosity shear wave gel and by temporal point contacting of the transmitter and receiver transducers with the sample surface during the measurements.

The 3D seismic measurements revealed a strong foliation-related directional dependence (anisotropy) of P- and S-wave velocities, which is confirmed by measurements in a multi-anvil apparatus on a cube-shaped specimen of the same rock. Both experimental approaches show a marked pressure sensitivity of P- and S-wave velocities and velocity anisotropies.

With increasing pressure, P- and S-wave velocities increase non-linearly due to progressive closure of micro-cracks. The reverse is true for velocity anisotropy. 3D velocity calculations based on neutron diffraction measurements of crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO) of major minerals show that the intrinsic bulk anisotropy is basically caused by the CPO of biotite constituting about 23 vol.% of the rock.

Including the shape of biotite grains and oriented low-aspect ratio microcracks into the modelling increases bulk anisotropy. An important finding from this study is that the measurements on the sample sphere and on the sample cube displayed distinct differences, particularly in shear wave velocities.

It is assumed that the differences are due to the different geometries of the samples and the configuration of the transducer-sample assembly.