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TitleA review of reservoir monitoring and reservoir-triggered seismicity in Canada
AuthorLamontagne, M; Rogers, G; Cassidy, J; Tournier, J -P; Lawrence, M S
SourceBulletin of the Seismological Society of America vol. 108, no. 5B, 2018 p. 3062-3079,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20170322
PublisherSeismological Society of America (SSA)
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); html
ProvinceCanada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectsgeophysics; structural geology; seismology; seismicity; earthquakes; earthquake risk; earthquake magnitudes; surface waters; reservoirs; dams; seismological network; pore pressures; bedrock geology; structural features; faults; water levels; Canadian Shield; Canadian Cordillera; Canadian National Seismograph Network; reservoir-triggered seismicity; monitoring; reservoir depth; reservoir weight; reservoir volume; impoundment year
Illustrationsplots; tables; location maps; geoscientific sketch maps; schematic representations; time series
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience, Shale Gas - induced seismicity
Released2018 08 14
AbstractCanada has four of the 20 largest water reservoirs in the world, with 16 that are at least 75 m deep and have a volume greater than 109 m3. Eleven of these are located in the Canadian Shield of Quebec, and five are located in the Cordillera of British Columbia and Alberta. Six of these large reservoirs, along with two other smaller reservoirs, have been associated with reservoir-triggered seismicity (RTS). The proportion of reservoirs with an RTS that is larger than Nuttli magnitude MN 3.0 (25%; i.e., four cases) is similar to the one for worldwide counterparts (22%). All RTS cases are located in the Canadian Shield of Quebec, which is an area that is weakly seismically active. RTS is of a small magnitude (the largest event was magnitude MN 4.1). Based on the known cases of RTS and those that had no associated seismicity, there are a few conclusions that can be drawn. Before the mid 1970s, many potential triggered earthquakes could have been below the detection threshold that was offered by the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) at the time (generally magnitude 3.5). The weight of the reservoirs does not appear to be the main factor that triggers RTS; two of the reservoirs with the largest volumes do not have any associated activity. In all RTS cases, it is almost impossible to relate the activity to specific fault characteristics. In some RTS cases, filling was not completed when the RTS started. For these cases, it is not easy to distinguish between a rapid response (such as the weight of the reservoir increasing the pore-fluid pressures at depth) and the delayed type of response, in which the pore-fluid pressure diffusion leads to reactivation of the fault. For the majority of RTS cases, however, a delayed-response type appears more likely; that is, it is more likely that activity that is started shortly after the initial impoundment will continue for many months, sometimes in swarms, and finally stop after a few years.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
Canada has four of the 20 largest water reservoirs in the World with 16 that are at least at least 75 m deep with a volume larger than 109 m3. Eleven of these are located in the Canadian Shield of Quebec and five in the Cordillera of British Columbia and Alberta. Six of these large reservoirs were associated with Reservoir-Triggered Seismicity (RTS) plus two other cases in smaller reservoirs.