The Gole Larghe Fault Zone (GLFZ) was exhumed from 8 km depth, where it was characterized by seismic activity (pseudotachylytes) and hydrous fluid flow (alteration halos and precipitation of hydrothermal minerals in veins and cataclasites). Thanks to glacier-polished outcrops exposing the 400 m-thick fault zone over a continuous area > 1.5 km2, the fault zone architecture has been quantitatively described with an unprecedented detail, providing a rich dataset to generate 3D Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) models and simulate the fault zone hydraulic properties. The fault and fracture network has been characterized combining > 2 km of scanlines and semi-automatic mapping of faults and fractures on several photogrammetric 3D Digital Outcrop Models (3D DOMs). This allowed obtaining robust probability density functions for parameters of fault and fracture sets: orientation, fracture intensity and density, spacing, persistency, length, thickness/aperture, termination. The spatial distribution of fractures (random, clustered, anticlustered…) has been characterized with geostatistics. Evidences of fluid/rock interaction (alteration halos, hydrothermal veins, etc.) have been mapped on the same outcrops, revealing sectors of the fault zone strongly impacted, vs. completely unaffected, by fluid/rock interaction, separated by convolute infiltration fronts. Field and microstructural evidence revealed that higher permeability was obtained in the syn- to early post-seismic period, when fractures were (re)opened by off-fault deformation. We have developed a parametric hydraulic model of the GLFZ and calibrated it, varying the fraction of faults/fractures that were open in the post-seismic, with the goal of obtaining realistic fluid flow and permeability values, and a flow pattern consistent with the observed alteration/mineralization pattern. The fraction of open fractures is very close to the percolation threshold of the DFN, and the permeability tensor is strongly anisotropic, resulting in a marked channelling of fluid flow in the inner part of the fault zone. Amongst possible seismological applications of our study, we will discuss the possibility to evaluate the coseismic fracture intensity due to off-fault damage, a fundamental mechanical parameter in the energy balance of earthquakes.

Bistacchi, A., Mittempergher, S., Di Toro, G., Smith, S., Garofalo, P. (2016). The seismogenic Gole Larghe Fault Zone (Italian Southern Alps): quantitative 3D characterization of the fault/fracture network, mapping of evidences of fluid-rock interaction, and modelling of the hydraulic structure through the seismic cycle. In American Geophysical Union, Fall General Assembly 2016.

The seismogenic Gole Larghe Fault Zone (Italian Southern Alps): quantitative 3D characterization of the fault/fracture network, mapping of evidences of fluid-rock interaction, and modelling of the hydraulic structure through the seismic cycle

BISTACCHI, ANDREA LUIGI PAOLO
Primo
;
MITTEMPERGHER, SILVIA
Secondo
;
2016

Abstract

The Gole Larghe Fault Zone (GLFZ) was exhumed from 8 km depth, where it was characterized by seismic activity (pseudotachylytes) and hydrous fluid flow (alteration halos and precipitation of hydrothermal minerals in veins and cataclasites). Thanks to glacier-polished outcrops exposing the 400 m-thick fault zone over a continuous area > 1.5 km2, the fault zone architecture has been quantitatively described with an unprecedented detail, providing a rich dataset to generate 3D Discrete Fracture Network (DFN) models and simulate the fault zone hydraulic properties. The fault and fracture network has been characterized combining > 2 km of scanlines and semi-automatic mapping of faults and fractures on several photogrammetric 3D Digital Outcrop Models (3D DOMs). This allowed obtaining robust probability density functions for parameters of fault and fracture sets: orientation, fracture intensity and density, spacing, persistency, length, thickness/aperture, termination. The spatial distribution of fractures (random, clustered, anticlustered…) has been characterized with geostatistics. Evidences of fluid/rock interaction (alteration halos, hydrothermal veins, etc.) have been mapped on the same outcrops, revealing sectors of the fault zone strongly impacted, vs. completely unaffected, by fluid/rock interaction, separated by convolute infiltration fronts. Field and microstructural evidence revealed that higher permeability was obtained in the syn- to early post-seismic period, when fractures were (re)opened by off-fault deformation. We have developed a parametric hydraulic model of the GLFZ and calibrated it, varying the fraction of faults/fractures that were open in the post-seismic, with the goal of obtaining realistic fluid flow and permeability values, and a flow pattern consistent with the observed alteration/mineralization pattern. The fraction of open fractures is very close to the percolation threshold of the DFN, and the permeability tensor is strongly anisotropic, resulting in a marked channelling of fluid flow in the inner part of the fault zone. Amongst possible seismological applications of our study, we will discuss the possibility to evaluate the coseismic fracture intensity due to off-fault damage, a fundamental mechanical parameter in the energy balance of earthquakes.
Si
abstract + slide
Gole Larghe Fault Zone, fault/fracture network, fluid-rock interaction, hydraulic structure, seismic cycle
English
2016 AGU Fall Meeting
Bistacchi, A., Mittempergher, S., Di Toro, G., Smith, S., Garofalo, P. (2016). The seismogenic Gole Larghe Fault Zone (Italian Southern Alps): quantitative 3D characterization of the fault/fracture network, mapping of evidences of fluid-rock interaction, and modelling of the hydraulic structure through the seismic cycle. In American Geophysical Union, Fall General Assembly 2016.
Bistacchi, A; Mittempergher, S; Di Toro, G; Smith, S; Garofalo, P
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/152189
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