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Chapter 5 - Fluid-pressure effects on deformation: Analysis of the Lusi Mud Volcano

Fagereng, Åke ORCID: and Toy, Virginia G. 2019. Chapter 5 - Fluid-pressure effects on deformation: Analysis of the Lusi Mud Volcano. Billi, Andrea and Fagereng, Ake, eds. Problems and Solutions in Structural Geology and Tectonics, Vol. 5. Developments in Structural Geology and Tectonics, Elsevier, pp. 67-74. (10.1016/B978-0-12-814048-2.00005-3)

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Sometimes science discussions enter the mainstream media, for example, when there are natural or human-made disasters. In such instances, basic data may be available, which can be used together with basic theory to test claims or hypotheses. For this chapter, we have chosen an example of such a discussion, the Lusi Mud Volcano eruption, Indonesia, 2006, where there is still ongoing discussion about whether this mud volcano, which has displaced thousands, was natural or human-induced. We provide some stratigraphic and borehole data from the literature on the Lusi Mud Volcano and consider potential fluid-pressure states in the stratigraphic sequence based on hydrostatic and lithostatic end-members. Through consideration of two reported borehole fluid-pressure observations, the identity of the stratigraphic units, and the hydrofracture criterion, we use a pressure versus depth diagram to analyze whether drilling could have facilitated the mud volcano eruption by connecting previously isolated, overpressured fluid reservoirs stimulating hydrofractures that further enhanced fluid connectivity and transport. The chapter provides tools to explore and better understand the concept of fluid pressure and its relation to crustal stresses and rock failure; however, our intention is also that this chapter can serve as a guide to problem-based learning. Background theory and basic data are provided, and the solutions show examples of how the problem can be addressed. Tutors may suggest ways for students to explore the problem differently and/or apply similar methodology to other examples.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2542-9000
Last Modified: 04 Nov 2022 12:26

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