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Surface Deformation and Seismicity Induced by Poroelastic Stress at the Raft River Geothermal Field, Idaho, USA

Li, Bing Q. and Khoshmanesh, Mostafa and Avouac, Jean‐Philippe (2021) Surface Deformation and Seismicity Induced by Poroelastic Stress at the Raft River Geothermal Field, Idaho, USA. Geophysical Research Letters, 48 (18). Art. No. e2021GL095108. ISSN 0094-8276. doi:10.1029/2021gl095108.

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We investigate the relative importance of injection and production on the spatial-temporal distribution of induced seismicity at the Raft River geothermal field. We use time-series of InSAR measurements to document surface deformation and calibrate a hydro-mechanical model to estimate effective stress changes imparted by injection and production. Seismicity, located predominantly in the basement, is induced primarily by poroelastic stresses from cold water reinjection into a shallower reservoir. The poroelastic effect of production from a deeper reservoir is minimal and inconsistent with observed seismicity, as is pore-pressure-diffusion in the basement and along reactivated faults. We estimate an initial strength excess of ∼20 kPa in the basement and sedimentary cover, but the seismicity rate in the sedimentary cover is four times lower, reflecting lower density of seed-points for earthquake nucleation. Our modeling workflow could be used to assess the impact of fluid extraction or injection on seismicity and help design or guide operations.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemALOS data set
Li, Bing Q.0000-0002-4158-4941
Khoshmanesh, Mostafa0000-0001-8724-5737
Avouac, Jean‐Philippe0000-0002-3060-8442
Additional Information:© 2021. American Geophysical Union. Issue Online: 14 September 2021; Version of Record online: 14 September 2021; Accepted manuscript online: 07 September 2021; Manuscript accepted: 31 August 2021; Manuscript revised: 30 August 2021; Manuscript received: 07 July 2021. This study was supported by the NSF/IUCRC Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (National Science Foundation Award No. 1822214). We thank Jonny Smith for discussions and help de-bugging. The authors declare no conflicts of interest relevant to this study. Data Availability Statement: ALOS data set is obtained through Alaska Satellite Facilities at, and the seismicity catalogue was downloaded from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The codes for pore pressure diffusion and poroelastic stresses and displacements and seismicity catalogue are hosted at
Group:Center for Geomechanics and Mitigation of Geohazards (GMG), Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:geothermal; induced seismicity; poroelasticity; geodesy; earthquake nucleation; shallow Injection
Issue or Number:18
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20211001-223725087
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Li, B. Q., Khoshmanesh, M., & Avouac, J.-P. (2021). Surface deformation and seismicity induced by poroelastic stress at the Raft River geothermal field, Idaho, USA. Geophysical Research Letters, 48, e2021GL095108.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:111173
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Oct 2021 15:48
Last Modified:15 Nov 2022 19:09

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