Experimental approach to understanding the initiation of fractures in a cooling granite

K. Sekine, G. Bignall, N. Tsuchiya

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The onset of fracturing by thermal contraction was investigated by cooling fracture-free "hydrothermally healed granite", to simulate the processes of (micro)crack generation in partially solidified (or 'plastic') granitic rock. To form "hydrothermally healed" granite, microcracks are healed in a long duration, high temperature hydrothermal reaction process. Acoustic emissions corresponding to (micro)crack generation in cooling hydrothermally healed granite samples were detected at ∼360°C, which was inferred to be initiated by thermal contraction processes. The use of hydrothermally healed granite in simulation experiments provides an effective means to advance the experimental study and development of natural (permeable) fracture systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-373
Number of pages5
JournalTransactions - Geothermal Resources Council
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec 1
EventInternational Collaboration for Geothermal Energy in the Americas - Geothermal Resources Counsil: 2003 Annual Meeting - Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico
Duration: 2003 Oct 122003 Oct 15


  • (Micro) fracture
  • Acoustic emission (AE)
  • Brittle-ductile transition
  • Hydrothermally healed granite
  • Thermal cracking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geophysics


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