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Title: Aftershock deficiency of induced earthquake sequences during rapid mitigation efforts in Oklahoma

Abstract

Induced seismicity provides a rare opportunity to study earthquake triggering and underlying stress perturbations. Triggering can be a direct result of induced stress changes or indirect due to elastic stress transfer from preceding events leading to aftershocks. Both of these processes are observable in areas with larger magnitude induced events, such as Oklahoma. We study aftershock sequences of M2.5 to M5.8 earthquakes and examine the impact of targeted injection rate reductions. In comparing aftershock productivity between California and Oklahoma, we find similar exponential scaling statistics between mainshock magnitude and average number of aftershocks. For events with M≥4.5 Oklahoma exhibits several mainshocks with total number of aftershocks significantly below the average scaling behavior. The sequences with deficient aftershock numbers also experienced rapid, strong mitigation and reduced injection rates, whereas two events with M4.8 and M5.0 with weak mitigation exhibit normal aftershock productivity. The timing of when aftershock activity is reduced correlates with drops in injection rates with a lag time of several days. Large mainshocks with significantly reduced aftershocks may explain decreasing seismicity rates while seismic moment release was still increasing in Oklahoma in 2016. We investigate the expected poroelastic stress perturbations due to injection rate changes within a layered axisymmetricmore » model and find that stresses are lowered by 10s to 100s kPa within the injection-affected zone. For earthquakes induced by poroelastic stress-increase at several kilometers from wells, the rapid shut-in of wells may lead to elastic stress reductions sufficiently high to arrest unfolding aftershock sequences within days after mitigation starts.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo; ; ; ORCiD logo
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1564385
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1612296
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0015539
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Earth and Planetary Science Letters Journal Volume: 522 Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0012-821X
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
Netherlands
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 58 GEOSCIENCES; geochemistry & geophysics; aftershock deficiency; induced seismicity mitigation; poroelastic stress coupling

Citation Formats

Goebel, T. H. W., Rosson, Z., Brodsky, E. E., and Walter, J. I.. Aftershock deficiency of induced earthquake sequences during rapid mitigation efforts in Oklahoma. Netherlands: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.036.
Goebel, T. H. W., Rosson, Z., Brodsky, E. E., & Walter, J. I.. Aftershock deficiency of induced earthquake sequences during rapid mitigation efforts in Oklahoma. Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.036
Goebel, T. H. W., Rosson, Z., Brodsky, E. E., and Walter, J. I.. 2019. "Aftershock deficiency of induced earthquake sequences during rapid mitigation efforts in Oklahoma". Netherlands. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.036.
@article{osti_1564385,
title = {Aftershock deficiency of induced earthquake sequences during rapid mitigation efforts in Oklahoma},
author = {Goebel, T. H. W. and Rosson, Z. and Brodsky, E. E. and Walter, J. I.},
abstractNote = {Induced seismicity provides a rare opportunity to study earthquake triggering and underlying stress perturbations. Triggering can be a direct result of induced stress changes or indirect due to elastic stress transfer from preceding events leading to aftershocks. Both of these processes are observable in areas with larger magnitude induced events, such as Oklahoma. We study aftershock sequences of M2.5 to M5.8 earthquakes and examine the impact of targeted injection rate reductions. In comparing aftershock productivity between California and Oklahoma, we find similar exponential scaling statistics between mainshock magnitude and average number of aftershocks. For events with M≥4.5 Oklahoma exhibits several mainshocks with total number of aftershocks significantly below the average scaling behavior. The sequences with deficient aftershock numbers also experienced rapid, strong mitigation and reduced injection rates, whereas two events with M4.8 and M5.0 with weak mitigation exhibit normal aftershock productivity. The timing of when aftershock activity is reduced correlates with drops in injection rates with a lag time of several days. Large mainshocks with significantly reduced aftershocks may explain decreasing seismicity rates while seismic moment release was still increasing in Oklahoma in 2016. We investigate the expected poroelastic stress perturbations due to injection rate changes within a layered axisymmetric model and find that stresses are lowered by 10s to 100s kPa within the injection-affected zone. For earthquakes induced by poroelastic stress-increase at several kilometers from wells, the rapid shut-in of wells may lead to elastic stress reductions sufficiently high to arrest unfolding aftershock sequences within days after mitigation starts.},
doi = {10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.036},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1564385}, journal = {Earth and Planetary Science Letters},
issn = {0012-821X},
number = C,
volume = 522,
place = {Netherlands},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2019.06.036

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 5 works
Citation information provided by
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