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TitleInduced seismicity in Northeast BC, Canada: correlation with operation parameters of shale gas hydraulic fracturing
AuthorKao, H; Farahbod, A; Cassidy, J F; Walker, D M
SourceAmerican Geophysical Union 2013 Fall Meeting, abstracts; 2013 p. 1
Year2013
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20130127
PublisherAmerican Geophysical Union
MeetingAmerican Geophysical Union 2013 Fall Meeting; San Francisco; US; December 9-13, 2013
Documentbook
Lang.English
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Subjectsfossil fuels; geophysics; seismic interpretations; seismicity; hydrocarbons; hydrocarbon recovery; hydraulic fracturing; Horn River Basin; Montney Basin
ProgramShale Gas - seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
LinksOnline - En ligne
AbstractThe Horn River Basin and Montney Basin in northeast BC, Canada, are major shale-gas production areas in North America. The earthquake catalog compiled by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) using the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) data indicates that more than 40 earthquakes, with ML ranging between 2.2 and 3.6, occurred in the Horn River Basin since 2009 when the operation of hydraulic fracturing (HF) for shale gas development expanded significantly. In contrast, the GSC catalog shows no event for years before 2009, even though small-scale HF operations were performed as early as in 2007. In this study, we apply the single-station location and waveform correlation methods on continuous 3-component waveforms recorded at the only seismograph station in the region (Fort Nelson) to establish a comprehensive understanding of the spatiotemporal variation of the regional seismicity since 2002. We were able to locate 24 events during the one-year period between July 2002 and July 2003, with the largest ML being 2.9. This observation demonstrates that background seismicity in the Horn River Basin existed long before HF began. Since 2007, the occurrence of local earthquakes has become more frequent with gradually larger magnitude as the scale of HF in the region expands. An analysis of monthly HF operation parameters and local seismicity reveals a positive correlation between the total volume of injection and the maximum magnitude of local events. While the injection pressure during HF operations has been kept at a relatively constant level, the significant increase of injection volume in 2010 and 2011 coincides with a series of ML>3 events, with the largest being 3.6. The newly established stateof- the-art broadband seismograph stations in the region and the recent decline of HF operations in the Horn River Basin provide a rare opportunity to examine how the regional seismic pattern responds to different HF operation parameters, which in turn may give better insight into the physical mechanisms of induced seismicity.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Northeast BC is a major shale-gas production base in North America. The earthquake catalog compiled by the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) indicates that more than 40 earthquakes, with magnitude (ML) ranging between 2.2 and 3.6, occurred in the region since 2009 when the operation of hydraulic fracturing (HF) for shale gas development expanded significantly. In contrast, the GSC catalog shows no event for years before 2009, despite small-scale HF operations were performed as early as in 2007. In this study, we demonstrate that background seismicity in the NE BC region existed long before HF began. However, since 2007, the occurrence of local earthquakes has become more frequent with gradually larger ML as the scale of HF in the region expands. An analysis of monthly HF operation parameters and local seismicity reveals a positive correlation between the total volume of injection and the maximum ML of local events. The largest induced earthquake by HF so far has a ML of 3.6.
GEOSCAN ID292772