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Published June 1980 | public
Journal Article

Finite element simulation of Wilmington oil field subsidence: I. Linear modelling


The Wilmington oil field in Long Beach California has been a site of large ground subsidence since the onset of production. The cause of the subsidence has been attributed to the lowering of pore fluid pressures in the formations of the field. In this study the subsidence in the Wilmington field is simulated numerically by solving the equilibrium equations for a region of the earth's crust containing the oil field. The input parameters for the calculation include a linearly elastic rheological mode for the formations of the field and pore pressure values at the producing zones at specified times. It is found that the numerical simulations can reproduce reasonably well most field observations. There remain however a few observations which the present model cannot explain, a fact which suggests that the material response of the field is more complicated than that of the linearly elastic model adopted in the present study.

Additional Information

© 1980 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company, Amsterdam. Received January 4, 1979; accepted for publication May 29, 1979. The authors wish to thank D. Allen for numerous helpful discussions and for assisting in compiling the data. They are grateful to the City of Long Beach for funding this investigation.

Additional details

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