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Rapid Response Fault Zone Drilling




California Fault Zone Orphan Borehole Database

Workshop and Report Sponsors:

International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP)ICDP


Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)SCEC


Disaster Prevention Research Institute-Kyoto University (DPRI-KU)



University of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC)UCSC

What is Rapid Response Fault Zone Drilling?

There are questions that can only be answered by drilling a borehole into a fault immediately after a large earthquake. How much frictional heating, if any, occurs during earthquakes? How quickly is the fault healing? What is the permeability of the fault zone before veins begin to fill with new deposits. How is the stress state evolving? Rapid boreholes can potentially resolve issues that have been haunting the field for years, but the technical and organizational challenges for such projects are formidable.

These questions drew together 44 scientists representing 10 countries for a three-day workshop on Rapid Response Drilling: Past, Present, and Future in Tokyo, Japan, in November 2008. The group discussed the scientific problems and their possible solutions through rapid response drilling. Focused talks presented previous work on drilling after large earthquakes and in fault zones in general, as well as the state of the art of experimental techniques and measurement strategies. Detailed discussion weighed the tradeoffs between rapid drilling and the ability to satisfy a diverse range of scientific objectives. Plausible drilling sites and scenarios were evaluated. This work resulted in a report (PDF)summarizes the outcome of these discussions in the form of key questions, measurement strategies, and recommendations, with the goal of providing a starting point for drilling after future large earthquakes.










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