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Journal Articles Geophysical Journal International Year : 2023

Seismoelectric wave conversions at an interface: a quantitative comparison between laboratory data and full-waveform modelling

Abstract

SUMMARY Seismo-electromagnetic phenomena, electrokinetic in nature, take place whenever a seismic wave propagates in fluid-bearing media, its energy depending mainly on the electrical properties of the fluid and the hydraulic properties of the porous medium. They result from a conversion of mechanical into electromagnetic (EM) energy due to the transient ionic interactions occurring at the pore scale. Two of these phenomena are usually studied: the electric field accompanying seismic waves, and the EM field that travels independently, generated at discontinuities of physicochemical properties in the porous medium. Although the first event is sensitive to physical parameters of the surrounding medium, the second catches information about interfaces in the subsurface, with the resolution of seismic methods, making it very attractive to near surface exploration. In this context, we propose a new experimental setup where both phenomena can be simultaneously studied. At first, we use a porous medium composed of homogeneous water-saturated sand and study the characteristics of the coseismic electric field. Afterwards, a thin layer of Vosges sandstone is inserted into the sand, which allows the study of the EM waves generated at the two closely spaced sand-sandstone interfaces. We record the seismic displacement field at the upper surface of the sand volume using a laser vibrometer, and use stainless steel electrodes buried in the sand to acquire individual electric potentials rather than electric fields, seeking to favour the measurement of the EM interface-generated signals. With the help of direct numerical simulations, we compare experimental measurements and theoretical predictions, based on a well established set of seismoelectric governing equations. In both types of experiments, this comparison shows very good agreements between experimental and numerical waveforms, thus confirming the relevant theory. The electric potential data also show that the EM signals generated at interfaces are clearly recorded at distances of about 10 seismic P wavelengths away from the interface. By contrast, the same events are barely noticeable near the inserted layer when measured using classical electric dipolar arrays.
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hal-04396286 , version 1 (18-01-2024)

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Victor Martins Gomes, D Brito, Stéphane Garambois, Michel Dietrich, Clarisse Bordes, et al.. Seismoelectric wave conversions at an interface: a quantitative comparison between laboratory data and full-waveform modelling. Geophysical Journal International, 2023, 235 (3), pp.2992-3011. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggad409⟩. ⟨hal-04396286⟩
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