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Application of the double-difference relocation method to acoustic emission events in high-pressure deformation experiments


A methodology has been developed, detailing the theory and workflow, for applying the double-difference relocation method to acoustic emission (AE) event location in high-pressure/high-temperature deformation experiments in the multi-anvil apparatus. The process is predicated on the fact that events originating from a common source region will traverse similar ray paths from the source to the receiver and display similar waveforms in seismograms. This implies their travel-time difference results only from their spatial offset and any velocity heterogeneity along the ray path is negated. To demonstrate the efficacy of this approach we applied it to a transformational faulting experiment on the isostructural olivine analogue Mg2GeO4 under controlled deformation at 2.5 GPa and 700 °C while simultaneously monitoring stress, strain, and acoustic activity. Waveforms from all 1456 AE events were cross-correlated to measure differential arrival times and construct multiplet groups of similar events. In total, 110 multiplets were identified whose size is dominated by two large groups containing 272 and 202 events. Relocation of these two multiplets using the double-difference method significantly reduces event separation and improves location uncertainty by more than an order of magnitude when compared to absolute location techniques whose uncertainty rivals that of the sample size. In particular, event locations of the two largest multiplets reveal two dense clusters whose spatial geometry closely mirrors that of macroscopic faulting displayed in computerized tomography images of the recovered sample. In this way, we are able to link specific faults with their associated AE events, which would otherwise not be possible using traditional absolute location methods.

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We acknowledge the National Science Foundation (Grant Nos. EAR-1661489, EAR-1661519 and EAR-1925920) for providing funding for this research. We would also like to acknowledge GeoSoilEnviroCARS (The University of Chicago, Sector 13), Advanced Photon Source (APS), Argonne National Laboratory where the experiments performed.

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Correspondence to Timothy Officer.

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This article is part of a Topical Collection “Experimental & Analytical Techniques at Extreme & Ambient Conditions”, guest edited by Stella Chariton, Vitali B. Prakapenka and Haozhe (Arthur) Liu.

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Officer, T., Zhu, L., Li, Z. et al. Application of the double-difference relocation method to acoustic emission events in high-pressure deformation experiments. Phys Chem Minerals 49, 29 (2022).

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  • Deep-focus earthquakes
  • Transformational faulting
  • Multi-anvil apparatus
  • Earthquake location
  • Double-difference method