Crack Expansion and Fracturing Mode of Hydraulic Refracturing from Acoustic Emission Monitoring in a Small-Scale Field Experiment

  • Tsuyoshi IshidaEmail author
  • Wataru Fujito
  • Hiroto Yamashita
  • Makoto Naoi
  • Hirokazu Fuji
  • Kenichirou Suzuki
  • Hiroya Matsui
Original Paper


We conducted a hydraulic fracturing (HF) experiment at a 500-m-level gallery in Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory in central Japan. We drilled a hole downward from the gallery floor and initially injected water at a flow rate of 10 mL/min in a section of 36 mm in diameter and 160 mm in length that was selected to avoid a pre-existing joint. The first breakdown (BD) occurred at 9.20 MPa, whereupon we increased the flow rate to 30 mL/min and induced a second BD in the form of “refracturing” at 9.79 MPa, larger than the first BD pressure. Acoustic emissions (AEs) monitored with 16 sensors in four boreholes located 1 m away from the HF hole exhibited two-dimensional distributions, which likely delineate a crack induced by the fracturing. Expansions of the regions in which AEs occurred were observed only immediately after the first and second BDs. Many AE events in other periods were distributed within the regions where AE events had already occurred. The initial motion polarities of P-waves indicate that tensile-dominant AE events occurred when the regions expanded and they were distributed primarily on the frontiers of the regions where AE events had already occurred. The experimental results suggest that increasing the injection flow rate is effective for generating new cracks in the refracturing, with the new crack expansions being induced by tensile fracturing.


Hydraulic fracturing Refracturing Flow rate Granitic rock Acoustic emission Fracture mode 



We received invaluable suggestions from Mr. Takashi Akai, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation. We appreciate efforts by the editor-in-chief, the guest editor and the anonymous reviewers to improve our paper through their invaluable review comments. This work was financially supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A), Grant number 25249131. We sincerely appreciate the suggestions and the financial supports.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto University, C-Cluster, Katsura Campus of Kyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.LAZOC Inc.TokyoJapan
  3. 3.OBAYASHI Co.TokyoJapan
  4. 4.Japan Atomic Energy AgencyMizunami-shiJapan

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