Oscillating Load-Induced Acoustic Emission in Laboratory Experiment
Spatial and temporal patterns of acoustic emission (AE) were studied. A pre-fractured cylinder of granite was loaded in a triaxial machine at 160 MPa confining pressure until stick-slip events occurred. The experiments were conducted at a constant strain rate of 10−7 s−1 that was modulated by small-amplitude sinusoidal oscillations with periods of 175 and 570 seconds. Amplitude of the oscillations was a few percent of the total load and was intended to simulate periodic loading observed in nature (e.g., earth tides or other sources). An ultrasonic acquisition system with 13 piezosensors recorded acoustic emissions that were generated during deformation of the sample. We observed a correlation between AE response and sinusoidal loading. The effect was more pronounced for higher frequency of the modulating force. A time-space spectral analysis for a “point” process was used to investigate details of the periodic AE components. The main result of the study was the correlation of oscillations of acoustic activity synchronized with the applied oscillating load. The intensity of the correlated AE activity was most pronounced in the “aftershock” sequences that followed large-amplitude AE events. We suggest that this is due to the higher strain-sensitivity of the failure area when the sample is in a transient, unstable mode. We also found that the synchronization of AE activity with the oscillating external load nearly disappeared in the period immediately after the stick-slip events and gradually recovered with further loading.
KeywordsAcoustic Emission Stress Drop Aftershock Sequence Acoustic Emission Event Earth Tide
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