The earthquake activity in Oklahoma and Kansas that began in 2008 reflects the most widespread instance of induced seismicity observed to date. We develop a reservoir model to calculate the hydrologic conditions associated with the activity of 902 saltwater disposal wells injecting into the Arbuckle aquifer. Estimates of basement fault stressing conditions inform a rate‐and‐state friction earthquake nucleation model to forecast the seismic response to injection. Our model replicates many salient features of the induced earthquake sequence, including the onset of seismicity, the timing of the peak seismicity rate, and the reduction in seismicity following decreased disposal activity. We present evidence for variable time lags between changes in injection and seismicity rates, consistent with the prediction from rate‐and‐state theory that seismicity rate transients occur over timescales inversely proportional to stressing rate. Given the efficacy of the hydromechanical model, as confirmed through a likelihood statistical test, the results of this study support broader integration of earthquake physics within seismic hazard analysis.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Hydromechanical earthquake nucleation model forecasts onset, peak, and falling rates of induced seismicity in Oklahoma and Kansas|
|Series title||Geophysical Research Letters|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Contributing office(s)||Earthquake Science Center|