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This content will become publicly available on November 9, 2018

Title: Sensitivity of Induced Seismic Sequences to Rate-and-State Frictional Processes

It is well established that subsurface injection of fluids increases pore fluid pressures that may lead to shear failure along a preexisting fault surface. Concern among oil and gas, geothermal, and carbon storage operators has risen dramatically over the past decade due to the increase in the number and magnitude of induced earthquakes. Efforts to mitigate the risk associated with injection-induced earthquakes include modeling of the interaction between fluids and earthquake faults. Here we investigate this relationship with simulations that couple a geomechanical reservoir model and RSQSim, a physics-based earthquake simulator. RSQSim employs rate- and state-dependent friction (RSF) that enables the investigation of the time-dependent nature of earthquake sequences. We explore the effect of two RSF parameters and normal stress on the spatiotemporal characteristics of injection-induced seismicity. We perform >200 simulations to systematically investigate the effect of these model components on the evolution of induced seismicity sequences and compare the spatiotemporal characteristics of our synthetic catalogs to observations of induced earthquakes. We find that the RSF parameters control the ability of seismicity to migrate away from the injection well, the total number and maximum magnitude of induced events. Additionally, the RSF parameters control the occurrence/absence of premonitory events. Finally, wemore » find that earthquake stress drops can be modulated by the normal stress and/or the RSF parameters. Insight gained from this study can aid in further development of models that address best practice protocols for injection operations, site-specific models of injection-induced earthquakes, and probabilistic hazard and risk assessments.« less
ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [2] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States); Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313; TRN: US1801478
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 122; Journal Issue: 12; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; rate-state friction; induced seismicity; RSQSim; earthquake simulation; spatiotemporal evolution; stress drop
OSTI Identifier: