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Probing crustal anisotropy by receiver functions at the deep continental drilling site KTB in Southern GermanyNormal access

Authors: I. Bianchi and G. Bokelmann
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 67, No 9, November 2019 pp. 2450 - 2464
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12883
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 1.72Mb )

Seismic anisotropy is a unique observational tool for remotely studying deformation and stress within the Earth. Effects of anisotropy can be seen in seismic data; they are due to mineral alignment, fractures or layering. Seismic anisotropy is linked to local stress and strain, allowing modern geophysics to derive geomechanical properties from seismic data for supporting well planning and fracking. For unravelling anisotropic properties of the crust, the teleseismic receiver functions methodology has started to be widely applied recently due to its ability in retrieving the threedimensional characteristics of the media sampled by the waves. The applicability of this technique is tested here by a field test carried out around the Kontinental Tiefbohrung site in southeastern Germany. We compare our results to previous investigations of the metamorphic rock pile of the Zone Erbendorf-Vohenstrauss, drilled down to 9 km depth, which sampled an alternating sequence of paragneiss and amphibolite, in which a strong foliation has been produced by ductile deformation. The application of the receiver functions reveals the presence of two distinct anisotropic layers within the metamorphic rock pile at 0–4 km and below 6 km depth, with up to 8% anisotropy; the depth of these two layers corresponds to the location of micarich paragneiss which show intense foliation, and finally proves the relation between the signal in the receiver functions, rock texture and presence of cracks. We have now the capability of providing insights from passive seismic data on geomechanical properties of the rocks, useful for geological exploration and engineering purposes, which will help influencing expensive drilling decisions thanks to future application of this seismic technique.

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