Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Visualization of microcrack anisotropy in granite affected by a fault zone, using confocal
laser scanning microscope
- Author(s): Onishi, Celia T.
- Shimizu, Ichiko
- et al.
Brittle deformation in granite can generate a fracture system with different patterns. Detailed fracture analyses at both macroscopic and microscopic scales, together with physical property data from a drill-core, are used to classify the effects of reverse fault deformation in four domains: (1) undeformed granite, (2) fractured granite with cataclastic seams, (3) fractured granite from the damage zone, and (4) foliated cataclasite from the core of the fault. Intact samples from two orthogonal directions, horizontal (H) and vertical (V), from the four domains indicate a developing fracture anisotropy toward the fault, which is highly developed in the damage zone. As a specific illustration of this phenomenon, resin impregnation, using a confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM) technique is applied to visualize the fracture anisotropy developed in the Toki Granite, Japan. As a result, microcrack networks have been observed to develop in H sections and elongate open cracks in V sections, suggesting that flow pathways can be determined by deformation.