Laboratory Measurements of the Impact of Fracture and Fluid Properties on the Propagation of Krauklis Waves

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences


The Krauklis wave is a slow dispersive wave, generated in fluid-filled fractures. By analyzing the resonant frequency and quality factor of the Krauklis wave, the fracture dimension and fluid properties can be estimated. However, the accuracy of the estimation of fracture dimension and fluid properties depends on deciphering factors affecting the Krauklis wave such as fluid viscosity, fracture geometry, fracture compliance, and stiffness ratio, some of which have not been experimentally studied yet. We have developed an experimental apparatus to study the Krauklis wave within a trilayer model consisting of a pair of aluminum plates and a mediating viscous fluid layer. We utilize a piezoelectric source and miniature pressure transducers in our measurements. To evaluating the effects of the fracture aperture and fluid viscosity, we examine the impact of complex and realistic fracture geometry by introducing spatially varying aperture, surface roughness, and compliant partial surface contact provided by springs. The phase velocity, resonant frequencies, and quality factors (a) increase with the expansion of fracture aperture and (b) decrease with the increase of the fluid viscosity. Additionally, (c) phase velocity, resonant frequencies, and attenuation decrease with the increase of mechanical compliance. Furthermore, rough and wedge-shaped fracture surfaces tend to slow down the Krauklis wave. Since the Krauklis wave is used by different disciplines such as volcanology, glaciology, and the petroleum industry to characterize fracture dimensions and properties of the fluids involved, our experimental findings can be used as a benchmark to develop comprehensive theoretical models to better interpret the Krauklis waves.

Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth