Precursory Signals to Injection Induced Fault Reactivation in the Laboratory Using Active Ultrasonic Monitoring Methods

A. Veltmeijer*, M. Naderloo, A. Pluymakers, A. Barnhoorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Induced earthquakes are still highly unpredictable, and often caused by variations in pore fluid pressure. Monitoring and understanding the mechanisms of fluid-induced fault slip is essential for seismic risk mitigation and seismicity forecasting. Fluid-induced slip experiments were performed on critically stressed faulted sandstone samples, and the evolution of the actively sent ultrasonic waves throughout the experiment was measured. Two different fault types were used: smooth saw-cut fault samples at a 35° angle, and a rough fault created by in situ faulting of the samples. Variations in the seismic slip velocity and friction along the fault plane were identified by the coda of the ultrasonic waves. Additionally, ultrasonic amplitudes show precursory signals to laboratory fault reactivation. Our results show that small and local variations in stress before fault failure can be inferred using coda wave interferometry for time-lapse monitoring, as coda waves are more sensitive to small perturbations in a medium than direct waves. Hence, these signals can be used as precursors to laboratory fault slip and to give insight into reactivation mechanisms. Our results show that time-lapse monitoring of coda waves can be used to monitor local stress changes associated with fault reactivation in this laboratory setting of fluid-induced fault reactivation. This is a critical first step toward a method for continuous monitoring of natural fault zones, contributing to seismic risk mitigation of induced and natural earthquakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2023JB028505
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • coda wave interferometry
  • fault mechanics
  • injection-induced seismicity
  • ultrasonic monitoring


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