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TitleGround motion from the August 17, 2015, moment magnitude 4.6 earthquake induced by hydraulic fracturing in northeastern British Columbia
AuthorBabaie Mahani, A; Kao, H; Schultz, R; Johnson, J; Salas, C
SourceGeoscience BC Summary of Activity; Geoscience BC, Report vol. 107, (2017), no. 2, 2017 p. 9-14 (Open Access)
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20160355
PublisherGeoscience BC
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia
NTS94G/03; 94G/04; 94G/05; 94G/06
AreaMontney play
Lat/Long WENS-122.4167 -121.8333 57.1000 56.8333
Subjectsfossil fuels; geophysics; earthquakes; hydraulic fracturing; seismic risk; seismicity; earthquake damage; earthquake magnitudes; earthquake mechanisms; earthquake risk; earthquake studies; sedimentary basins; petroleum; petroleum occurrence; petroleum resources; petroleum exploration; ground motion prediction equations (GMPE); ground motion; induced seismicity
Illustrationslocation maps; seismograms; graphs
ProgramShale Gas - induced seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
Released2017 01 01
AbstractIn this article, we analyzed the recent seismic activity in the northern Montney Play of British Columbia in 2015 and its connection with fluid injection (hydraulic fracturing and long-term injection of gas and wastewater disposal) in the region. The earthquake sequence used in this study includes 676 events from 3 October 2014 to 31 December 2015 from the Progress Energy earthquake catalog with moment magnitude as small as 1. Spatial and temporal correlation of seismic activity with the fluid injection in the region revealed that these events are better correlated with hydraulic fracturing (correlation coefficient of ?0:17 at confidence level close to 99.7%, with a lag time between 0 and 2 days) than other types of injection. Using the double-difference relocation technique, we obtained depth constraints for some of the events for which supplementary, industry-provided waveforms were available. The depths of these events range from 0.5 to 2.5 km and are mostly constrained above the target zone where hydraulic fracturing was taking place. The best-fit moment tensor solution for the event on 17 August 2015 gives a moment magnitude of 4.6 and a predominantly thrust mechanism in the northwest-southeast direction with a shallow focal depth of 4 km. This is consistent with that obtained through double-difference relocation for this event (1.3 km), given the depth uncertainty of the moment tensor inversion.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The ground motion caused by the August 17, 2015, magnitude 4.6 earthquake in northern Montney Play, British Columbia, exceeded the seismic sensor¿s largest capacity at locations up to 40 km from the epicenter. We use the waveform records of a smaller event to reconstruct the true amplitude of ground motion for stations with clipped waveforms. Our results suggest that the peak ground acceleration can be as high as ~17% of the Earth¿s gravity. Although there was no reported damage from this shallow induced event, ground motion from this event could have exceeded the damage threshold of structures if it had happened in a populated area.