Geologic influence on induced seismicity: Constraints from potential field data in Oklahoma

Geophysical Research Letters
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Abstract

Recent Oklahoma seismicity shows a regional correlation with increased wastewater injection activity, but local variations suggest that some areas are more likely to exhibit induced seismicity than others. We combine geophysical and drill hole data to map subsurface geologic features in the crystalline basement, where most earthquakes are occurring, and examine probable contributing factors. We find that most earthquakes are located where the crystalline basement is likely composed of fractured intrusive or metamorphic rock. Areas with extrusive rock or thick (>4 km) sedimentary cover exhibit little seismicity, even in high injection rate areas, similar to deep sedimentary basins in Michigan and western North Dakota. These differences in seismicity may be due to variations in permeability structure: within intrusive rocks, fluids can become narrowly focused in fractures and faults, causing an increase in local pore fluid pressure, whereas more distributed pore space in sedimentary and extrusive rocks may relax pore fluid pressure.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Geologic influence on induced seismicity: Constraints from potential field data in Oklahoma
Series title Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL071808
Volume 44
Issue 1
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Crustal Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center
Description 10 p.
First page 152
Last page 161
Country United States
State Oklahoma