On the elastic anatomy of heterogeneous fractures in rock

Fatemeh Pourahmadian, Bojan B. Guzina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study examines the feasibility of the full-field ultrasonic characterization of fractures in rock. To this end, a slab-like specimen of granite is subjected to in-plane, O(104 Hz) excitation while monitoring the induced 2D wavefield by a Scanning Laser Doppler Vibrometer (SLDV) with sub-centimeter spatial resolution. Upon suitable filtering and interpolation, the observed wavefield is verified to conform with the plane-stress approximation and used to: (i) compute the maps of elastic modulus in the specimen (before and after fracturing) via a rudimentary application of the principle of elastography; (ii) reconstruct the fracture geometry; (iii) expose the fracture's primal (traction-displacement jump) contact behavior, and (iv) identify its profiles of shear and normal specific stiffness. Through the use of full-field ultrasonic data, the approach provides an unobscured, high-resolution insight into the fracture's contact behavior, foreshadowing in-depth laboratory exploration of interdependencies between the fracture geometry, aperture, interphase properties, and its seismic characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-268
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences
StatePublished - Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018


  • Full-field ultrasonic sensing
  • Heterogeneous specific stiffness
  • Seismic behavior of fractures


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