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Tracking induced seismicity in the Fort Worth Basin; a summary of the 2008-2018 North Texas Earthquake Study catalog

Louis Quinones, Heather R. DeShon, Seong-Ju Jeong, Paul Ogwari, Oner Sufri, Monique M. Holt and Kevin B. Kwong
Tracking induced seismicity in the Fort Worth Basin; a summary of the 2008-2018 North Texas Earthquake Study catalog
Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (June 2019) 109 (4): 1203-1216


Since 2008, earthquake sequences within the Fort Worth basin (FWB), north Texas, have been linked to wastewater disposal activities related to unconventional shale-gas production. The North Texas Earthquake Study (NTXES) catalog (2008-2018), described and included herein, uses a combination of local and regional seismic networks to track significant seismic sequences in the basin. The FWB earthquakes occur along discrete faults that are relatively far apart (>30 km), allowing for more detailed study of individual sequence development. The three largest sequences (magnitude 3.6+) are monitored by local seismic networks (<15 km epicentral distances), whereas basinwide seismicity outside these three sequences is monitored using regional distance stations. A regional 1D velocity model for the FWB reflects basinwide well log, receiver function, and regional crustal structure studies and is modified for the larger individual earthquake sequences using local well-log and geology data. Here, we present an m (sub b_Lg) relationship appropriate for Texas and a basin-specific M (sub L) relationship, both calculated using attenuation curves developed with the NTXES catalog. Analysis of the catalog reveals that the earthquakes generally occur within the Precambrian basement formation along steeply dipping normal faults, and although overall seismicity rates have decreased since 2016, new faults have become active. Between 2006 and 2018, more than 2 billion barrels of fluids were injected into the Ellenburger formation within the FWB. We observe strong spatial and temporal correlations between the earthquake locations and wastewater disposal well locations and injection volumes, implying that fluid injection activities may be the main driving force of seismicity in the basin. In addition, we observe seismicity occurring at greater distances from injection wells (>10 km) over time, implying that far-field stress changes associated with fluid injection activities may be an important component to understanding the seismic hazard of induced seismicity sequences.

ISSN: 0037-1106
EISSN: 1943-3573
Serial Title: Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
Serial Volume: 109
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Tracking induced seismicity in the Fort Worth Basin; a summary of the 2008-2018 North Texas Earthquake Study catalog
Affiliation: Southern Methodist University, Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, Dallas, TX, United States
Pages: 1203-1216
Published: 20190611
Text Language: English
Publisher: Seismological Society of America, Berkeley, CA, United States
References: 45
Accession Number: 2019-062119
Categories: Seismology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. sketch maps
N32°00'00" - N33°30'00", W98°09'00" - W96°45'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Oklahoma Geological Survey, USA, United StatesDepartment of Geology and Geophysics, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Seismological Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201932
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