Analysis of geological fractures in the Agrícola Oriental 2C well, Mexico City, and its relationship with major faults

  • Alberto Vásquez-Serrano Departamento de Procesos Litosféricos, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito de la Investigación Científica s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, C.P. 04510, Mexico. Centro de Geociencias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Blvd. Juriquilla 3001, Campus UNAM, Juriquilla, Querétaro, C.P. 76230, Mexico.
  • Rebeca Camacho-Rangel Colegio de Geofísica, Facultad de Ingeniería, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, 4 Sur No. 104, Centro Histórico, Ciudad de Puebla, Puebla, C.P. 72000, Mexico.
  • José Luis Arce-Saldaña Departamento de Procesos Litosféricos, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito de la Investigación Científica s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, C.P. 04510, Mexico.
  • Eric Morales-Casique Departamento de Procesos Litosféricos, Instituto de Geología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Circuito de la Investigación Científica s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, Ciudad de México, C.P. 04510, Mexico.
Keywords: fracture, fractal analysis, fracture array, fracture intensity, Agrícola Oriental Fault

Abstract

In the last years several exploratory wells have been drilled in Mexico City down to 2000 m depth, with the aim to explore deep aquifers to cover the water deficiency in the metropolitan area. In particular, in the Agricola Oriental 2C well, located in the Iztacalco municipality, several cores were recovered; one of them is 9 m long, located between 1550 and 1559 m depth. This core is situated close to the contact between an Oligocene volcanic unit and a Cretaceous limestone at ~1560 m depth. The study core shows that the volcanic rocks are affected by an important number of fractures, which can be divided into two families according to their intersection relationships and fill material (F1 and F2). The younger fractures (F2) are related with a fault, informally named here as Agricola Oriental fault, which sets in tectonic contact the sedimentary and the volcanic rocks.

The fractures were characterized through a detailed analysis of their number, geometry and spatial arrangement, using the scan line method and taking into account both families of fractures. These variables were expressed such as fracture intensity, box and correlation fractal dimensions, Lyapunov exponent, variation coefficient, and cumulative frequency exponent. Our results show that the spacing between fractures and the aperture follow a power law in a log-log graph of the cumulative frequency analysis that results in a fractal behavior. The pattern values showed in the fracture intensity, fractal dimension, Lyapunov exponent, and aperture cumulative frequency exponent progressively diminish as the distance to the fault increases. In turn, the coefficients of variation and spacing cumulative frequency exponent have a different pattern: their values increase with the distance to the fault. These behaviors are typical of a common shear zone; however, in our analysis, the anomalous variation of the study parameters in the fault damaged zone is related to the presence of a previous fracture system (F1). These fractures induced an important increase in the amount of fractures and change their distribution in the damage zone. In addition, based on the fracture characteristics, we proposed that the fault found in the well is related to the northern limit of Santa Catarina graben and has an ENE-WSW orientation.

Published
2019-03-27
Section
Articles