Hydrochemical monitoring, petrological observation, and geochemical modeling of fault healing after an earthquake
2014 (English)In: Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth, ISSN 2169-9313, E-ISSN 2169-9356, Vol. 119, no 7, 5727-5740 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Based on hydrochemical monitoring, petrological observations, and geochemical modeling, we identify a mechanism and estimate a time scale for fault healing after an earthquake. Hydrochemical monitoring of groundwater samples from an aquifer, which is at an approximate depth of 1200 m, was conducted over a period of 10 years. Groundwater samples have been taken from a borehole (HU-01) that crosses the Husavik-Flatey Fault (HFF) near Husavik town, northern Iceland. After 10 weeks of sampling, on 16 September 2002, an M 5.8 earthquake occurred on the Grimsey Lineament, which is approximately parallel to the HFF. This earthquake caused rupturing of a hydrological barrier resulting in an influx of groundwater from a second aquifer, which was recorded by 15-20% concentration increases for some cations and anions. This was followed by hydrochemical recovery. Based on petrological observations of tectonically exhumed fault rocks, we conclude that hydrochemical recovery recorded fault healing by precipitation of secondary minerals along fractures. Because hydrochemical recovery accelerated with time, we conclude that the growth rate of these minerals was controlled by reaction rates at mineral-water interfaces. Geochemical modeling confirmed that the secondary minerals which formed along fractures were saturated in the sampled groundwater. Fault healing and therefore hydrochemical recovery was periodically interrupted by refracturing events. Supported by field and petrographic evidence, we conclude that these events were caused by changes of fluid pressure probably coupled with earthquakes. These events became successively smaller as groundwater flux decreased with time. Despite refracturing, hydrochemical recovery reached completion 8-10 years after the earthquake.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 119, no 7, 5727-5740 p.
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-107441DOI: 10.1002/2013JB010715ISI: 000340416500025OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-107441DiVA: diva2:747602