Modeling studies suggest that fluid permeability is an important control on the maintenance and distribution of pore fluid pressures at subduction zones generated through tectonic loading. Yet, to date, few data are available to constrain permeability of these materials, at appropriate scales. During IODP Expedition 319, downhole measurements of permeability within the uppermost accretionary wedge offshore SW Japan were made using a dual-packer device to isolate 1m sections of borehole at a depth of 1500m below sea floor. Analyses of pressure transients using numerical models suggest a range of in-situ fluid permeabilities (5E-15-9E-17m2). These values are significantly higher than those measured on core samples (2E-19m2). Borehole imagery and cores suggests the presence of multiple open fractures at this depth of measurement. These observations suggest that open permeable natural fractures at modest fracture densities could be important contributors to overall prism permeability structure at these scales.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)