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Published September 10, 1974 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Effect of Oriented Cracks on Seismic Velocities


We have considered the problem of elastic wave velocities in a matrix containing aligned ellipsoidal fluid-filled cracks. This problem is relevant to a variety of geophysical applications, including crustal and mantle seismology and the behavior of stressed and dilatant rock. When the cracks are ellipsoids of revolution, the composite is transversely isotropic and is describable with five elastic constants. For aligned oblate spheroids the major reduction in velocity occurs along the axis of symmetry. The opening of new cracks, the widening of old cracks, or the reduction of pore pressure accompanying crustal dilatancy can be expected to cause a large decrease in compressional velocity and considerable compressional wave anisotropy.

Additional Information

© 1974 by the American Geophysical Union. Received August 13, 1973, revised May 2, 1974. Article first published online: 20 Sep 2012. This research was supported by USGS grant 14-08-0001-G52, and the Chevron Research Company. J. Walsh provided the authors with an extensive review of the manuscript. Contribution 2390, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences California Institute of Technology.

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August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023