Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada

Science
Xuewei Bao, David W Eaton

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing has been inferred to trigger the majority of injection-induced earthquakes in western Canada, in contrast to the Midwestern United States, where massive saltwater disposal is the dominant triggering mechanism. A template-based earthquake catalog from a seismically active Canadian shale play, combined with comprehensive injection data during a 4-month interval, shows that earthquakes are tightly clustered in space and time near hydraulic fracturing sites. The largest event [moment magnitude (MW) 3.9] occurred several weeks after injection along a fault that appears to extend from the injection zone into crystalline basement. Patterns of seismicity indicate that stress changes during operations can activate fault slip to an offset distance of >1 km, whereas pressurization by hydraulic fracturing into a fault yields episodic seismicity that can persist for months.

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Citations

Dec 17, 2016·Science·Derek ElsworthAndre R Niemeijer
Feb 13, 2018·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Maria KozłowskaBrian S Currie
Sep 7, 2019·Science Advances·Thomas S EyreDonald C Lawton
Jun 12, 2019·Ground Water·Jennifer C McIntosh, Grant Ferguson
Mar 23, 2019·Scientific Reports·Louis De BarrosJean-Robert Grasso
Mar 23, 2021·Nature Communications·Ziyan LiUNKNOWN EGS-Collab
Apr 7, 2021·The Review of Scientific Instruments·Wei YaoXin Zhang

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