Earthquake source properties of a shallow induced seismic sequence in SE Brazil

TitleEarthquake source properties of a shallow induced seismic sequence in SE Brazil
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsAgurto-Detzel, H, Bianchi, M, Prieto, GA, Asumpção, M
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth
Date PublishedJan-01-2017

We study source parameters of a cluster of 21 very shallow (<1 km depth) small-magnitude (Mw < 2) earthquakes induced by percolation of water by gravity in SE Brazil. Using a multiple empirical Green's functions (meGf) approach, we estimate seismic moments, corner frequencies, and static stress drops of these events by inversion of their spectral ratios. For the studied magnitude range (−0.3 < Mw < 1.9), we found an increase of stress drop with seismic moment. We assess associated uncertainties by considering different signal time windows and by performing a jackknife resampling of the spectral ratios. We also calculate seismic moments by full waveform inversion to independently validate our moments from spectral analysis. We propose repeated rupture on a fault patch at shallow depth, following continuous inflow of water, as the cause for the observed low absolute stress drop values (<1 MPa) and earthquake size dependency. To our knowledge, no other study on earthquake source properties of shallow events induced by water injection with no added pressure is available in the literature. Our study suggests that source parameter characterization may provide additional information of induced seismicity by hydraulic stimulation.

Short TitleJ. Geophys. Res. Solid Earth