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Title: Monitoring reservoir response to earthquakes and fluid extraction, Salton Sea geothermal field, California

Abstract

Continuous monitoring of in situ reservoir responses to stress transients provides insights into the evolution of geothermal reservoirs. By exploiting the stress dependence of seismic velocity changes, we investigate the temporal evolution of the reservoir stress state of the Salton Sea geothermal field (SSGF), California. We find that the SSGF experienced a number of sudden velocity reductions (~0.035 to 0.25%) that are most likely caused by openings of fractures due to dynamic stress transients (as small as 0.08 MPa and up to 0.45 MPa) from local and regional earthquakes. Depths of velocity changes are estimated to be about 0.5 to 1.5 km, similar to the depths of the injection and production wells. We derive an empirical in situ stress sensitivity of seismic velocity changes by relating velocity changes to dynamic stresses. We also observe systematic velocity reductions (0.04 to 0.05%) during earthquake swarms in mid-November 2009 and late-December 2010. On the basis of volumetric static and dynamic stress changes, the expected velocity reductions from the largest earthquakes with magnitude ranging from 3 to 4 in these swarms are less than 0.02%, which suggests that these earthquakes are likely not responsible for the velocity changes observed during the swarms. Instead, wemore » argue that velocity reductions may have been induced by poroelastic opening of fractures due to aseismic deformation. We also observe a long-term velocity increase (~0.04%/year) that is most likely due to poroelastic contraction caused by the geothermal production. Our observations demonstrate that seismic interferometry provides insights into in situ reservoir response to stress changes.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Berkeley Seismological Lab.
  2. Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France). Inst. of Earth Sciences (ISTerre)
  3. Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States). Berkeley Seismological Lab. Dept. of Earth and Planetary Science
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States); Univ. Grenoble Alpes (France)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE; National Science Foundation (NSF); Southern California Earthquake Center (United States); France-Berkeley Fund
OSTI Identifier:
1479366
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231; EAR-1053211; EAR-1344424; 15024; 2014-0051
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY

Citation Formats

Taira, Taka’aki, Nayak, Avinash, Brenguier, Florent, and Manga, Michael. Monitoring reservoir response to earthquakes and fluid extraction, Salton Sea geothermal field, California. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1701536.
Taira, Taka’aki, Nayak, Avinash, Brenguier, Florent, & Manga, Michael. Monitoring reservoir response to earthquakes and fluid extraction, Salton Sea geothermal field, California. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1701536.
Taira, Taka’aki, Nayak, Avinash, Brenguier, Florent, and Manga, Michael. Wed . "Monitoring reservoir response to earthquakes and fluid extraction, Salton Sea geothermal field, California". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.1701536. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1479366.
@article{osti_1479366,
title = {Monitoring reservoir response to earthquakes and fluid extraction, Salton Sea geothermal field, California},
author = {Taira, Taka’aki and Nayak, Avinash and Brenguier, Florent and Manga, Michael},
abstractNote = {Continuous monitoring of in situ reservoir responses to stress transients provides insights into the evolution of geothermal reservoirs. By exploiting the stress dependence of seismic velocity changes, we investigate the temporal evolution of the reservoir stress state of the Salton Sea geothermal field (SSGF), California. We find that the SSGF experienced a number of sudden velocity reductions (~0.035 to 0.25%) that are most likely caused by openings of fractures due to dynamic stress transients (as small as 0.08 MPa and up to 0.45 MPa) from local and regional earthquakes. Depths of velocity changes are estimated to be about 0.5 to 1.5 km, similar to the depths of the injection and production wells. We derive an empirical in situ stress sensitivity of seismic velocity changes by relating velocity changes to dynamic stresses. We also observe systematic velocity reductions (0.04 to 0.05%) during earthquake swarms in mid-November 2009 and late-December 2010. On the basis of volumetric static and dynamic stress changes, the expected velocity reductions from the largest earthquakes with magnitude ranging from 3 to 4 in these swarms are less than 0.02%, which suggests that these earthquakes are likely not responsible for the velocity changes observed during the swarms. Instead, we argue that velocity reductions may have been induced by poroelastic opening of fractures due to aseismic deformation. We also observe a long-term velocity increase (~0.04%/year) that is most likely due to poroelastic contraction caused by the geothermal production. Our observations demonstrate that seismic interferometry provides insights into in situ reservoir response to stress changes.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.1701536},
journal = {Science Advances},
number = 1,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {1}
}

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