27 Apr 2022
27 Apr 2022
Status: this preprint is open for discussion.

Multiscale lineament analysis and permeability heterogeneity of fractured crystalline basement blocks

Alberto Ceccato1,a, Giulia Tartaglia1, Marco Antonellini1, and Giulio Viola1 Alberto Ceccato et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche ed Ambientali – BiGeA, Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna – via Zamboni, 67, 40126 Bologna, Italy
  • apresent address: Geological Institute, Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich, Sonneggstrasse 5, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract. The multiscale analysis of fracture patterns helps defining the geometric scaling laws and the relationships between outcrop- and regional-scale structures in a fracture network. Here, we present a novel analytical and statistical workflow to analyze the geometrical and spatial organization properties of the Rolvsnes granodiorite lineament (fracture) network in the crystalline basement of southwestern Norway (Bømlo Island). The network shows a scale-invariant spatial distribution described by a fractal dimension D ≈ 1.51, with lineament lengths distributed following a general scaling power-law (exponent   = 1.88). However, orientation-dependent analyses show that the identified sets vary their relative abundance and spatial organization with scale, defining a hierarchical network. Lineament length, density, and intensity distributions of each set follow power-law scaling laws characterized by their own exponents. Thus, our multiscale, orientation-dependent statistical approach can aid in the identification of the hierarchical structure of the fracture network, quantifying the spatial heterogeneity of lineament sets and their related regional- vs. local-scale relevance. These results, integrated with field petrophysical analyses of fracture lineaments, can effectively improve the detail and accuracy of permeability prediction of heterogeneously fractured media. Our results show also how the geological and geometrical properties of the fracture network and analytical biases affect the results of multiscale analyses and how they must be critically assessed before extrapolating the conclusions to any other similar case study of fractured crystalline basement blocks.

Alberto Ceccato et al.

Status: open (until 08 Jun 2022)

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Alberto Ceccato et al.

Data sets

Multiscale_lineament_analyses_dataset Alberto Ceccato

Alberto Ceccato et al.


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Short summary
The Earth's surface is commonly characterized by the occurrence of fractures, which can be mapped and their geometry quantified, on digital representations of the surface at different scales of observation. Here we present a series of analytical and statistical tools, which can aid the quantification of fracture spatial distribution at different scale. In doing so, we can improve our understanding of how fracture geometry and geology affect fluid flow within the fractured Earth crust.