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Solid Earth An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-87
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2020-87
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 20 May 2020

Submitted as: research article | 20 May 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal SE.

Coherent diffraction imaging for enhanced fault and fracture network characterization

Benjamin Schwarz1 and Charlotte M. Krawczyk1,2 Benjamin Schwarz and Charlotte M. Krawczyk
  • 1GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Albert-Einstein-Str. 42–46, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
  • 2Technical University Berlin, Ernst-Reuter-Platz 1, 10589 Berlin, Germany

Abstract. Faults and fractures represent unique features of the solid Earth and are especially pervasive in the shallow crust. Aside from directly relating to crustal dynamics and the systematic assessment of associated risk, fault and fracture networks enable the efficient migration of fluids and, therefore, have a direct impact on concrete topics relevant to society, including climate-change mitigating measures like CO2 sequestration or geothermal exploration and production. Due to their small-scale complexity, fault zones and fracture networks are typically poorly resolved and their presence can often only be inferred indirectly in seismic and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) subsurface reconstructions. We suggest a largely data-driven framework for the direct imaging of these features by making use of the faint and still often under-explored diffracted portion of the wavefield. Finding inspiration in the fields of optics and visual perception, we introduce two different conceptual pathways for coherent diffraction imaging and discuss respective advantages and disadvantages in different contexts of application. At the heart of both of these strategies lies the assessment of data coherence, for which a range of quantitative measures is introduced. To illustrate the approaches versatility and effectiveness for high-resolution geophysical imaging, several seismic and GPR field data examples are presented, in which the diffracted wavefield sheds new light on crustal features like fluvial channels, erosional surfaces, and intricate fault and fracture networks on land and in the marine environment.

Benjamin Schwarz and Charlotte M. Krawczyk

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Benjamin Schwarz and Charlotte M. Krawczyk

Benjamin Schwarz and Charlotte M. Krawczyk

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Latest update: 11 Jul 2020
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