Fault Traces: Generation of Fault Segments and Estimation of Their Fractal Dimension

by Weiwei Zhu, Bora Yalcin, Siarhei Khirevich, Tad W. Patzek
Year: 2021

Extra Information

Lithosphere. August 2021,  (Special 4): 4991604.


Fault damage zones have a higher upscaled permeability than the host rock because of a higher fracture intensity therein. Fracture distribution in the damage zone depends highly on the geometry of fault segments. However, precise images of architectural elements of large-scale faults at depth are difficult to obtain by seismic acquisition and imaging techniques. We present a numerical method that generates fault segments at multiple scales from an imprecise fault trace based on the fractal properties of these segments. The generated fault segments demonstrate hierarchical self-similar architecture, and their lengths follow approximately a lognormal distribution. These characteristics are similar to real fault segments observed in outcrops and seismic surveys. An algorithm that covers fault segments accurately with the minimum number of circles is proposed to calculate the fractal dimensions for both natural and computer-generated faults. The fractal dimensions of natural and generated fault segments are similar and range between 1.2 and 1.4.