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11.10.2018 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 3/2019

Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering 3/2019

Minimum Scanline-to-Fracture Angle and Sample Size Required to Produce a Highly Accurate Estimate of the 3-D Fracture Orientation Distribution

Zeitschrift:
Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering > Ausgabe 3/2019
Autoren:
Lei Huang, Huiming Tang, Liangqing Wang, C. H. Juang
Wichtige Hinweise
C. H. Juang: Formerly in Department of Civil Engineering, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634, USA.

Publisher’s Note

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Abstract

Accurate estimates of the three-dimensional (3-D) rock fracture orientation distribution are crucial for generating a reliable fracture system model. Although an earlier method by Fouché and Diebolt allows one to estimate such distributions from one-dimensional (1-D) samples, this method does not typically produce highly accurate estimates of the 3-D orientation distribution (HAE3DOD). In this study, the minimum scanline-to-fracture angle (minimum θ) and the minimum orientation sample size (minimum n) required to produce HAE3DOD are investigated. Firstly, the factors significantly influencing minimum θ and minimum n are identified, and the influence clarified. For minimum θ, the possible influencing factors include the orientation concentration parameter (к) and n, while for minimum n, the possible influencing factors include к and θ. Fractures from three selected sites in China provide sufficient data for this investigation. The investigation results reveal that minimum θ varies almost linearly with к and n. Moreover, minimum n varies linearly with к and θ. Variations in the minimum θ and minimum n values are strongly associated with discrepancies in sample density resulting from different values of these factors. To ease the estimation of minimum θ and minimum n, empirical relations that take into account the separate factors are proposed for these two variables. A practical example demonstrates that the proposed relations accurately and efficiently estimate minimum θ and minimum n and can provide sampling guidelines (i.e., the intervals of scanline direction and sample size) for producing HAE3DOD. The potential limitations of the proposed relations are also discussed.

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