Tilt due to massive hydraulic fractures induced in sedimentary rocks at depths of up to 2.2 km have been recorded by surface tiltmeters. Injection of fluid volumes up to 4 ?? 105 liters and masses of propping agent up to 5 ?? 105 kg is designed to produce fractures approximately 1 km long, 50-100 m high and about 1 cm wide. The surface tilt data adequately fit a dislocation model of a tensional fault in a half-space. Theoretical and observational results indicate that maximum tilt occurs at a distance off the strike of the fracture equivalent to 0.4 of the depth to the fracture. Azimuth and extent of the fracture deduced from the geometry of the tilt field agree with other kinds of geophysical measurements. Detailed correlation of the tilt signatures with pumping parameters (pressure, rate, volume, mass) have provided details on asymmetry in geometry and growth rate. Whereas amplitude variations in tilt vary inversely with the square of the depth, changes in flow rate or pressure gradient can produce a cubic change in width. These studies offer a large-scale experimental approach to the study of problems involving fracturing, mass transport, and dilatancy processes. ?? 1979.
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Monitoring massive fracture growth at 2-km depths using surface tiltmeter arrays