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Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, California

Goebel, T. H. W. and Hosseini, S. M. and Cappa, F. and Hauksson, E. and Ampuero, J. P. and Aminzadeh, F. and Saleeby, J. B. (2016) Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, California. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (3). pp. 1092-1099. ISSN 0094-8276. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160407-154445237

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Abstract

Fracture and fault zones can channel fluid flow and transmit injection-induced pore pressure changes over large distances (>km), at which seismicity is rarely suspected to be human induced. We use seismicity analysis and hydrogeological models to examine the role of seismically active faults in inducing earthquakes. We analyze a potentially injection-induced earthquake swarm with three events above M4 near the White Wolf fault (WWF). The swarm deviates from classic main aftershock behavior, exhibiting uncharacteristically low Gutenberg-Richter b of 0.6, and systematic migration patterns. Some smaller events occurred southeast of the WWF in an area of several disposal wells, one of which became active just 5 months before the main swarm activity. Hydrogeological modeling revealed that wastewater disposal likely contributed to seismicity via localized pressure increase along a seismically active fault. Our results suggest that induced seismicity may remain undetected in California without detailed analysis of local geologic setting, seismicity, and fluid diffusion.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2015GL066948DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL066948/abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Hauksson, E.0000-0002-6834-5051
Ampuero, J. P.0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2016 American Geophysical Union. Received 8 NOV 2015; Accepted 16 JAN 2016; Accepted article online 22 JAN 2016; Published online 4 FEB 2016. The authors thank Semechah Lui, Preston Jordan, Bill Foxall, Emily Brodsky, and members of the Induced Seismicity Consortium at USC for helpful comments and discussions. The manuscript benefitted from comments by Art McGarr and Michael Wysession. The well and operational data were supplied by the California Department of Conservation (www.doggr.com), and the seismicity data by the Southern California Earthquake Center (doi: 10.7909/C3WD3xH1) and Advanced National Seismic Systems. This study was funded by NEHRP/USGS grants G14AP00075 and G15AP00095 to Caltech, by the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC) under contribution numbers 12017 and 15168 and the Induced Seismicity Consortium (ISC) at USC.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
USGSG14AP00075
USGSG15AP00095
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)12017
Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC)15168
University of Southern CaliforniaUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160407-154445237
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160407-154445237
Official Citation:Goebel, T. H. W., S. M. Hosseini, F. Cappa, E. Hauksson, J. P. Ampuero, F. Aminzadeh, and J. B. Saleeby (2016), Wastewater disposal and earthquake swarm activity at the southern end of the Central Valley, California, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 1092–1099, doi:10.1002/2015GL066948.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:66005
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:12 Apr 2016 23:55
Last Modified:02 Sep 2016 19:03

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