ABSTRACT

We determined the magnitudes of 2540 microseismic events measured at one single 3C borehole geophone at the German Deep Drilling Site (known by the German acronym, KTB) during the injection phase 2004/2005. For this task we developed a three-step approach. First, we estimated local magnitudes of 104 larger events with a standard method based on amplitude measurements at near-surface stations. Second, we investigated a series of parameters to characterize the size of these events using the seismograms of the borehole sensor, and we compared them statistically with the local magnitudes. Third, we extrapolated the regression curve to obtain the magnitudes of 2436 events that were only measured at the borehole geophone. This method improved the magnitude of completeness for the KTB data set by more than one order down to M=2.75. The resulting b-value for all events was 0.78, which is similar to the b-value obtained from taking only the greater events with standard local magnitude estimation from near-surface stations, b=0.86. The more complete magnitude catalog was required to study the magnitude distribution with time and to characterize the seismotectonic state of the KTB injection site. The event distribution with time was consistent with prediction from theory assuming pore pressure diffusion as the underlying mechanism to trigger the events. The value we obtained for the seismogenic index of 4 suggested that the seismic hazard potential at the KTB site is comparatively low.

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