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Induced earthquake families reveal distinctive evolutionary patterns near disposal wells

Cochran, Elizabeth S. and Ross, Zachary E. and Harrington, Rebecca M. and Dougherty, Sara L. and Rubinstein, Justin L. (2018) Induced earthquake families reveal distinctive evolutionary patterns near disposal wells. Journal of Geophysical Research. Solid Earth, 123 (9). pp. 8045-8055. ISSN 2169-9313. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180924-082525708

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Abstract

The timing of events in seismic sequences can provide insights into the physical processes controlling fault slip. In southern Kansas, the rate of earthquakes rose rapidly starting in 2013 following expansion of energy production into the area, demanding the disposal of large volumes of wastewater into deep wells. Seismicity catalogs that are complete to low magnitudes can provide insights into the physical processes that induce seismicity near wastewater disposal. We develop a catalog of over 130,000 earthquakes recorded in southern Kansas from mid‐March 2014 through December 2017 by applying a matched filter algorithm to an original catalog of 5,831 template earthquakes. Detections have nearly identical waveforms to their associated template event and represent slip on nearly co‐located sections of a fault. We select template events with at least 100 associated detections and examine the characteristics of these prolific families of earthquakes. We find that families located close (<10 km) to areas with significant volumes of injected fluids have near‐Poissonian interevent times and the families remain active over longer durations. Families farther from high‐volume injection wells show strong clustering of interevent times and shorter sequence durations. We conclude that increasing pore fluid pressures from nearby disposal of large volumes of wastewater is the primary driver of these long duration episodes, with earthquake‐earthquake interactions driving sequences at greater distance from the wells.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB016270DOIArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Cochran, Elizabeth S.0000-0003-2485-4484
Ross, Zachary E.0000-0002-6343-8400
Harrington, Rebecca M.0000-0002-3538-8020
Dougherty, Sara L.0000-0002-5327-3286
Rubinstein, Justin L.0000-0003-1274-6785
Additional Information:© 2018 American Geophysical Union. Received 22 JUN 2018; Accepted 10 SEP 2018; Accepted article online 14 SEP 2018; Published online 28 SEP 2018. Waveform data from the GS and OK seismic networks used in the analysis are available from Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) data archive. We thank N. Beeler and N. van der Elst and two anonymous journal reviewers for helpful comments that improved the manuscript.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Subject Keywords:Induced seismicity
Issue or Number:9
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180924-082525708
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180924-082525708
Official Citation:Cochran, E. S., Ross, Z. E., Harrington, R. M., Dougherty, S. L., & Rubinstein, J. L. (2018). Induced earthquake families reveal distinctive evolutionary patterns near disposal wells. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 123, 8045–8055. https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB016270
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89886
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:24 Sep 2018 23:12
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 20:20

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