The role of aseismic slip in hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity

Science Advances
Thomas S EyreDonald C Lawton

Abstract

Models for hydraulic fracturing-induced earthquakes in shales typically ascribe fault activation to elevated pore pressure or increased shear stress; however, these mechanisms are incompatible with experiments and rate-state frictional models, which predict stable sliding (aseismic slip) on faults that penetrate rocks with high clay or total organic carbon. Recent studies further indicate that the earthquakes tend to nucleate over relatively short injection time scales and sufficiently far from the injection zone that triggering by either poroelastic stress changes or pore pressure diffusion is unlikely. Here, we invoke an alternative model based on recent laboratory and in situ experiments, wherein distal, unstable regions of a fault are progressively loaded by aseismic slip on proximal, stable regions stimulated by hydraulic fracturing. This model predicts that dynamic rupture initiates when the creep front impinges on a fault region where rock composition favors dynamic and slip rate weakening behavior.

References

May 15, 2007·Science·Raehee HanJun-Ichi Ando
Mar 26, 1976·Science·C B RaleighJ D Bredehoeft
Dec 17, 2014·Science·Berend A VerberneChristopher J Spiers
Nov 20, 2016·Science·Xuewei Bao, David W Eaton
Feb 13, 2018·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Maria KozłowskaBrian S Currie
Mar 21, 2019·Science Advances·Frédéric CappaJean-Philippe Avouac
May 3, 2019·Science·Pathikrit Bhattacharya, Robert C Viesca

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
x-ray diffraction
rheology

Software Mentioned

HypoDD
Wolfram Mathematica

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