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Analysis of transportable array (USArray) data shows earthquakes are scarce near injection wells in the Williston Basin, 2008-2011

Cliff Frohlich, Jacob I. Walter and Julia F. W. Gale
Analysis of transportable array (USArray) data shows earthquakes are scarce near injection wells in the Williston Basin, 2008-2011
Seismological Research Letters (April 2015) 86 (2A): 492-499

Abstract

We investigate possible links between seismicity and fluid injection in the Williston basin in the north-central United States, focusing on the region around the Bakken formation unconventional hydrocarbon play. Here, we show earthquakes are rarer near injection wells in the Williston basin than in the Fort Worth basin of Texas or in central Oklahoma. To identify earthquakes, we analyze seismograms collected by EarthScope USArray temporary stations, deployed on a grid with 70 km spacing. During the September 2008-May 2011 study period, we identified only nine regional earthquakes; of these only three were situated near injection wells. The reason why Williston basin earthquakes are so scarce is unclear. In both the Bakken and Barnett Shale play regions, injection volumes increased significantly in late 2007, and both areas have very low levels of natural seismicity. Oklahoma has experienced much higher rates of apparently induced seismicity than either region, possibly because injection volumes are higher in some wells in Oklahoma.


ISSN: 0895-0695
EISSN: 1938-2057
Coden: EAQNAT
Serial Title: Seismological Research Letters
Serial Volume: 86
Serial Issue: 2A
Title: Analysis of transportable array (USArray) data shows earthquakes are scarce near injection wells in the Williston Basin, 2008-2011
Affiliation: University of Texas, Austin, Institute for Geophysics, Austin, TX, United States
Pages: 492-499
Published: 201504
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, El Cerrito, CA, United States
References: 28
Accession Number: 2015-058222
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table, sketch map
N46°00'00" - N49°00'00", W108°00'00" - W101°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201526
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