- Seismic properties and anisotropy of the continental crust: Predictions based on mineral texture and rock microstructure doi link

Auteur(s): Almqvist Bjarne s. g., Mainprice D.

(Article) Publié: Reviews Of Geophysics, vol. 55 p.367-433 (2017)

DOI: 10.1002/2016RG000552

Progress in seismic methodology and ambitious large-scale seismic projects are enabling high-resolution imaging of the continental crust. The ability to constrain interpretations of crustal seismic data is based on laboratory measurements on rock samples and calculations of seismic properties. Seismic velocity calculations and their directional dependence are based on the rock microfabric, which consists of mineral aggregate properties including crystallographic preferred orientation (CPO), grain shape and distribution, grain boundary distribution, and misorientation within grains. Single-mineral elastic constants and density are crucial for predicting seismic velocities, preferably at conditions that span the crust. However, high-temperature and high-pressure elastic constant data are not as common as those determined at standard temperature and pressure (STP; atmospheric conditions). Continental crust has a very diverse mineral composition; however, a select number of minerals appear to dominate seismic properties because of their high-volume fraction contribution. Calculations of microfabric-based seismic properties and anisotropy are performed with averaging methods that in their simplest form takes into account the CPO and modal mineral composition, and corresponding single crystal elastic constants. More complex methods can take into account other microstructural characteristics, including the grain shape and distribution of mineral grains and cracks and pores. Dynamic or active wave propagation schemes have recently been developed, which offer a complementary method to existing static averaging methods generally based on the use of the Christoffel equation. A challenge for the geophysics and rock physics communities is the separation of intrinsic factors affecting seismic anisotropy, due to properties of crystals within a rock and apparent sources due to extrinsic factors like cracks, fractures, and alteration. This is of particular importance when trying to deduce crustal composition and the state of deformation from seismic parameters.