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Several thousand earthquakes were recorded in each area. We report an initial investigation of the focal mechanisms based on P-wave polarities. Distortion by complicated three-dimensional crustal structure was minimized using tomographically derived three-dimensional crustal models. Events with explosive and implosive source mechanisms, suggesting cavity opening and collapse, have been tentatively identified at The Geysers. The new data show that some of these events do not fit the model of tensile cracking accompanied by isotropic pore pressure decreases that was suggested in earlier studies, but that they may instead involve combination of explosive and shear processes. However, the confirmation of earthquakes dominated by explosive components supports the model that the event are caused by crack opening induced by thermal contraction of the heat source.
Additional Publication Details
Non-shear focal mechanisms of earthquakes at The Geysers, California and Hengill, Iceland, geothermal areas
Publ by Geothermal Resources Council
Davis, CA, United States
Number of Pages:
Proceedings of the 1993 Annual Meeting on Utilities and Geothermal: An Emerging Partnership