Stress state analysis of a fault plane with large induced seismicity

TitleStress state analysis of a fault plane with large induced seismicity
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2016
AuthorsMukuhira, Y, Ito, T, Asanuma, M, Haring, M
Conference NameProceedings of the 50th U.S. Rock Mechanics Symposium
VolumeARMA 16-0360

Induced seismicity associated with hydraulic stimulation for the development of underground resources has been recognized as a risk factor in causing seismic hazards and is of public concern. To understand the simple physics behind induced seismicity, we analyzed the stress state of a fault plane where large seismicity was induced during hydraulic stimulation in the Cooper Basin, Australia and Basel, Switzerland. Using information regarding the stress magnitude and orientation, and the geometry of the fault plane where large events occurred, the stress state of these events was evaluated and the pore pressure necessary to cause shear slip was estimated. The fault plane of the large event in the Cooper Basin was close to being well oriented and only needed small increase in pore pressure (~10MPa) to induce shear slip. It was also discovered that the fault plane of the largest event at Basel required a moderate increase in pore pressure of around 20 MPa to induce a seismic event. Other large events occurring at different depths needed much lower pore pressures to induce shear slip. On the fault planes at Basel where these large events occurred, large shear stress was present, suggesting causality between shear stress and event magnitude.