Fracture Detection in Crystalline Rocks, Mirror Lake, New Hampshire

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Conference Proceeding

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Six surface-geophysical methods were used to detect saturated fractures in the upper 60 m (meters) of bedrock at the U.S. Geological survey's fractured-rock research site in the Mirror Lake area, Grafton County, New Hampshire. Crystalline bedrock, consisting of foliated schists intruded by granite, pegmatite, and gabbro, underlies 3 to 10 m of glacial drift throughout the study area. Surface-geophysical methods included azimuthal seismic refraction, azimuthal Schlumberger direct-current- (DC) resistivity, square-array DC-resistivity, inductive-terrain conductivity, very-low-frequency (VLF) terrain resistivity, and ground-penetrating radar (GPR).Azimuthal seismic-refraction and DC-resistivity methods measured directionally dependent physical properties of the crystalline rock at the Camp Osceola well field and in a ballfield 75 m southeast of Mirror Lake. The interpretation of the seismic-refraction P-wave data is that the primary fracture strike is 022.5° (degrees) with a secondary strike at 127°. The orientation of the anisotropy and probably the fractures, as determined from a quantitative interpretation of the original P-wave data, is 037°. The interpretation of the DC-resistivity data is that the primary fracture strike is 030° with a secondary strike at 150°. Inductive-terrain conductivity and VLF-terrain resistivity data show very small anomalies that have been interpreted as possible fractures or fracture zones having a strike of 045°. Processed GPR data were used to determine the depth to bedrock and to locate numerous subhorizontal reflectors, which are interpreted to be fractures, fracture zones, and (or) foliation in the bedrock. The strike interpreted from the surface-geophysical data correlates with the strike determined from bedrock outcrops, which are located 150 m from the Camp Osceola well field along Interstate 93. The outcrop data indicate a fracture-strike frequency maximum at 030° and a secondary maximum at 000°. Fracture dips range from 20° to 90°.


Presented at the U.S. Geological Survey Toxic Substances Hydrology Program Technical Meeting, Colorado, CO, September 20-24, 1993.

U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigation Report 94-4015.

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