The orientations of faults activated relative to the local principal stress directions can provide insights into the role of pore pressure changes in induced earthquake sequences. Here, we examine the 2011 M 5.7 Prague earthquake sequence that was induced by nearby wastewater disposal. We estimate the local principal compressive stress direction near the rupture as inferred from shear wave splitting measurements at spatial resolutions as small as 750 m. We find that the dominant azimuth observed is parallel to previous estimates of the regional compressive stress with some secondary azimuths oriented subparallel to the strike of the major fault structures. From an extended catalogue, we map ten distinct fault segments activated during the sequence that exhibit a wide array of orientations. We assess whether the five near-vertical fault planes are optimally oriented to fail in the determined stress field. We find that only two of the fault planes, including the M 5.7 main shock fault, are optimally oriented. Both the M 4.8 foreshock and M 4.8 aftershock occur on fault planes that deviate 20–29° from the optimal orientation for slip. Our results confirm that induced event sequences can occur on faults not optimally oriented for failure in the local stress field. The results suggest elevated pore fluid pressures likely induced failure along several of the faults activated in the 2011 Prague sequence.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Activation of optimally and unfavourably oriented faults in a uniform local stress field during the 2011 Prague, Oklahoma, sequence|
|Series title||Geophysical Journal International|
|Contributing office(s)||Earthquake Science Center|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|