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Title: Hydromechanical Controls on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Injection‐Induced Seismicity in Different Fault Architecture: Implication for 2013–2014 Azle Earthquakes

Abstract

Recent observations of seismic events at the subsurface energy exploration sites show that spatial and temporal correlations sometimes do not match the spatial order of the known or detected fault location from the injection well. This study investigates the coupled flow and geomechanical control on the patterns of induced seismicity along multiple basement faults that show an unusual spatiotemporal relation with induced seismicity occurring in the far field first, followed by the near field. Two possible geological scenarios considered are (1) the presence of conductive hydraulic pathway within the basement connected to the distant fault (hydraulic connectivity) and (2) no hydraulic pathway, but the coexistence of faults with mixed polarity (favorability to slip) as observed at Azle, TX. Based on the Coulomb stability analysis and seismicity rate estimates, simulation results show that direct pore pressure diffusion through a hydraulic pathway to the distant fault can generate a larger number of seismicity than along the fault close to the injection well. Prior to pore pressure diffusion, elastic stress transfer can initiate seismic activity along the favorably oriented fault, even at the longer distance to the well, which may explain the deep 2013–2014 Azle earthquake sequences. This study emphasizes that hydrological andmore » geomechanical features of faults will locally control poroelastic coupling mechanisms, potentially influencing the spatiotemporal pattern of injection-induced seismicity, which can be used to infer subsurface architecture of fault/fracture networks« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [2]
  1. Geotechnology and Engineering Department Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque NM USA
  2. Geomechanics Department Sandia National Laboratories Albuquerque NM USA
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1664591
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1664593; OSTI ID: 1670767
Report Number(s):
SAND2020-10450J
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Grant/Contract Number:  
200180; AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth Journal Volume: 125 Journal Issue: 9; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9313
Publisher:
American Geophysical Union
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES

Citation Formats

Chang, K. W., and Yoon, H.. Hydromechanical Controls on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Injection‐Induced Seismicity in Different Fault Architecture: Implication for 2013–2014 Azle Earthquakes. United States: N. p., 2020. Web. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020402.
Chang, K. W., & Yoon, H.. Hydromechanical Controls on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Injection‐Induced Seismicity in Different Fault Architecture: Implication for 2013–2014 Azle Earthquakes. United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020402
Chang, K. W., and Yoon, H.. Wed . "Hydromechanical Controls on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Injection‐Induced Seismicity in Different Fault Architecture: Implication for 2013–2014 Azle Earthquakes". United States. https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020402.
@article{osti_1664591,
title = {Hydromechanical Controls on the Spatiotemporal Patterns of Injection‐Induced Seismicity in Different Fault Architecture: Implication for 2013–2014 Azle Earthquakes},
author = {Chang, K. W. and Yoon, H.},
abstractNote = {Recent observations of seismic events at the subsurface energy exploration sites show that spatial and temporal correlations sometimes do not match the spatial order of the known or detected fault location from the injection well. This study investigates the coupled flow and geomechanical control on the patterns of induced seismicity along multiple basement faults that show an unusual spatiotemporal relation with induced seismicity occurring in the far field first, followed by the near field. Two possible geological scenarios considered are (1) the presence of conductive hydraulic pathway within the basement connected to the distant fault (hydraulic connectivity) and (2) no hydraulic pathway, but the coexistence of faults with mixed polarity (favorability to slip) as observed at Azle, TX. Based on the Coulomb stability analysis and seismicity rate estimates, simulation results show that direct pore pressure diffusion through a hydraulic pathway to the distant fault can generate a larger number of seismicity than along the fault close to the injection well. Prior to pore pressure diffusion, elastic stress transfer can initiate seismic activity along the favorably oriented fault, even at the longer distance to the well, which may explain the deep 2013–2014 Azle earthquake sequences. This study emphasizes that hydrological and geomechanical features of faults will locally control poroelastic coupling mechanisms, potentially influencing the spatiotemporal pattern of injection-induced seismicity, which can be used to infer subsurface architecture of fault/fracture networks},
doi = {10.1029/2020JB020402},
journal = {Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth},
number = 9,
volume = 125,
place = {United States},
year = {2020},
month = {8}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JB020402

Figures / Tables:

Figure 1 Figure 1: Geometry of normal fault arrays driven by tectonics: (a) Listric fault array formed by rotating upper plate blocks and (b) horst and graben formed by normal faults of mixed polarity (i.e., opposite dip with parallel strikes).

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