Hydromechanical earthquake nucleation model forecasts onset, peak, and falling rates of induced seismicity in Oklahoma and Kansas

Geophysical Research Letters
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Abstract

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.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
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
DOI 10.1002/2017GL076562
Volume 45
Issue 7
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 2963
Last page 2975
Country United States
State Oklahoma, Kansas