University of Texas at Austin

Basin-Scale Assessment of Fault Reactivation and Seismicity Potential

Synopsis: Extend conventional probabilistic seismic hazard analysis methods to include geologically- and geomechanically-grounded deterministic information

Project Status: Begins January,2017

Funding Source: 100% CISR IA

Research Leaders: Peter Eichhubl, Peter Hennings, Ellen Rathje

Project Start: 1Q2017

Project Interface: Project interfaces closely with Texas Seismicity Studies, Ft. Worth Basin Earthquake Characterization, Hydrology: Fluid Budget Protocols, Data and Analysis, Faults and Geomodels, Geomechanics of Fault Reactivation, Pore Pressure Analysis of Ft. Worth Basin, Seismic Risk Social Science, Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment - Shaking Intensity, Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment - Building Infrastructure, and Multi-Institutional and Industrial Collaboration for Geomechanical and Seismicity Assessment of the Ft. Worth Basin

Expected research outcomes:

  • Analysis (numerical simulation) of reactivation potential of significant faults
  • Workflow of stochastic earthquake potential analysis
  • Stochastic models of induced earthquake potential for select basins

We will assess the potential for fault reactivation by wastewater injection at the reservoir- to basin-scale using deterministic, stochastic, and modeling approaches based on fault orientation and size data, injection and production volumes, in-situ stress data, and information on strain rates and natural earthquake occurrence from TexNet and elsewhere. The objective is to identify regions of low and high seismicity potential and to derive probabilistic basin-scale models of earthquake occurrence. Using insights gained from geological characterizations, numerical simulations on reservoir flow, pressure distribution, and fault reactivation assessment to provide maps and 3D volumes of wastewater injection potential in relationship to fault reactivation likelihood.