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TitleSpatiotemporal analysis of seismotectonic state of injection-induced seismicity clusters in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
AuthorDokht, R M H; Kao, HORCID logo; Mahani, A B; Visser, R
SourceJournal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth vol. 126, issue 4, e2020JB021362, 2021 p. 1-19,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20200746
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Ltd
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf; html
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta
NTS83B; 83C; 83D; 83E; 83F; 83G; 83J; 83K; 83L; 83M; 83N; 83O; 84B; 84C; 84D; 84E; 84F; 84G; 84J; 84K; 84L; 84M; 84N; 84O; 93A; 93B; 93C; 93F; 93G; 93H; 93I; 93J; 93K; 93N; 93O; 93P; 94A; 94B; 94C; 94F; 94G; 94H; 94I; 94J; 94K; 94N; 94O; 94P
AreaPeace River; Dawson Creek; Fox Creek; Horn River; Montney
Lat/Long WENS-126.0000 -114.0000 60.0000 52.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; Science and Technology; Economics and Industry; Health and Safety; seismology; seismicity; seismic risk; seismological network; earthquake risk; statistical analysis; petroleum industry; hydrocarbon recovery; hydraulic fracturing; liquid waste disposal; epicentres; tectonic environments; strain analysis; Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin; Waste water
Illustrationslocation maps; geoscientific sketch maps; plots; tables; time series; histograms
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience Shale Gas - induced seismicity
Released2021 03 13
AbstractThe observations of spatiotemporal distribution of seismicity in western Canada indicate that the occurrence of earthquakes is tied to the hydraulic fracturing operations and disposal of co-produced wastewater. In this study, we investigate the temporal changes in the frequency-magnitude distributions for multiple clusters of induced events in regions where the level of background seismicity is low. The induced events are clustered into six major groups using density-based spatial and soft clustering algorithms based on their epicenters. Each cluster is identified by different distributions of earthquake magnitudes and injection scenarios. The linear relationship between the number of induced earthquakes and cumulative injection volume enables us, on a regional scale, to quantitatively characterize the seismotectonic conditions of the clusters using the estimates of the seismogenic indices. The calculated seismogenic indices agree very well with the expected seismic response to hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal and show a strong correlation with tectonically accumulated strain energy. Statistical models based on the seismogenic index can be employed to mitigate the potential risk of large magnitude induced events.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
In western Canada, there has been a considerable increase in seismicity rate linked to oil and gas development activities including hydraulic fracturing and waste-fluid disposal in deep wells. The hazard posed by the occurrence of injection-induced seismicity is a growing concern for both the general public and regulatory agencies. In this study, we perform a clustering analysis and investigate the correlation between local seismicity and broadly distributed injection activity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. We characterize the seismotectonic activity of clusters of fluid-injection sites using the estimates of seismogenic indices. The seismogenic index provides a means to quantify the potential seismic response of a given site to fluid injection. We observe that there is a higher probability of large-magnitude-induced events in areas of high tectonic deformation rates. The statistical models presented in this study can be employed to forecast the magnitudes of the largest expected injection-induced events in western Canada, which has implications for mitigating the potential seismic hazard due to fluid injection.

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