ABSTRACT

We simulate induced seismicity within a geothermal reservoir using pressure-driven stress changes and seismicity triggering based on Coulomb friction. The result is a forward-modeled seismicity cloud with origin time, stress drop, and magnitude assigned to each individual event. Our model includes a realistic representation of repeating event clusters, and is able to explain in principle the observation of reduced stress drop and increased b-values near the injection point where pore-pressure perturbations are highest. The higher the pore-pressure perturbation, the less critical stress states still trigger an event, and hence the lower the differential stress is before triggering an event. Less-critical stress states result in lower stress drops and higher b-values, if both are linked to differential stress. We are therefore able to establish a link between the seismological observables and the geomechanical properties of the source region and thus a reservoir. Understanding the geomechanical properties is essential for estimating the probability of exceeding a certain magnitude value in the induced seismicity and hence the associated seismic hazard of the operation. By calibrating our model to the observed seismicity data, we can estimate the probability of exceeding a certain magnitude event in space and time and study the effect of injection depth and crustal strength on the induced seismicity.

You do not currently have access to this article.