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Article

Observational and Critical State Physics Descriptions of Long-Range Flow Structures

1
Helmholtz Centre Potsdam, GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Telegrafenberg, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
2
GeoFlow Imaging, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
3
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA
4
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, OH 45435, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020050
Received: 11 November 2019 / Revised: 22 January 2020 / Accepted: 24 January 2020 / Published: 28 January 2020
Using Fracture Seismic methods to map fluid-conducting fracture zones makes it important to understand fracture connectivity over distances greater 10–20 m in the Earth’s upper crust. The principles required for this understanding are developed here from the observations that (1) the spatial variations in crustal porosity are commonly associated with spatial variations in the magnitude of the natural logarithm of crustal permeability, and (2) many parameters, including permeability have a scale-invariant power law distribution in the crust. The first observation means that crustal permeability has a lognormal distribution that can be described as κ κ 0 exp ( α ( φ φ 0 ) ) , where α is the ratio of the standard deviation of ln permeability from its mean to the standard deviation of porosity from its mean. The scale invariance of permeability indicates that αϕο = 3 to 4 and that the natural log of permeability has a 1/k pink noise spatial distribution. Combined, these conclusions mean that channelized flow in the upper crust is expected as the distance traversed by flow increases. Locating the most permeable channels using Seismic Fracture methods, while filling in the less permeable parts of the modeled volume with the correct pink noise spatial distribution of permeability, will produce much more realistic models of subsurface flow. View Full-Text
Keywords: crustal well-core poroperm; crustal fluid flow; crustal flow channeling; critical state physics; well-log spectral scaling; crustal power law scaling; lognormal; pink noise; crustal fracture seismics; crustal fracture imaging crustal well-core poroperm; crustal fluid flow; crustal flow channeling; critical state physics; well-log spectral scaling; crustal power law scaling; lognormal; pink noise; crustal fracture seismics; crustal fracture imaging
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MDPI and ACS Style

Malin, P.E.; Leary, P.C.; Cathles, L.M.; Barton, C.C. Observational and Critical State Physics Descriptions of Long-Range Flow Structures. Geosciences 2020, 10, 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020050

AMA Style

Malin PE, Leary PC, Cathles LM, Barton CC. Observational and Critical State Physics Descriptions of Long-Range Flow Structures. Geosciences. 2020; 10(2):50. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020050

Chicago/Turabian Style

Malin, Peter E., Peter C. Leary, Lawrence M. Cathles, and Christopher C. Barton. 2020. "Observational and Critical State Physics Descriptions of Long-Range Flow Structures" Geosciences 10, no. 2: 50. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020050

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