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Authors: Troiano, Antonio* 
Di Giuseppe, Maria Giulia* 
Troise, Claudia* 
Tramelli, Anna* 
De Natale, Giuseppe* 
Title: A Coulomb stress model for induced seismicity distribution due to fluid injection and withdrawal in deep boreholes
Issue Date: 2013
Series/Report no.: /195 (2013)
DOI: 10.1093/gji/ggt229
Keywords: Geomechanics
Fracture and flow
Computational seismology
Subject Classification04.06. Seismology
Abstract: Fluid injection in and withdrawal from wells are basic procedures in mining activities and deep resources exploitation, such as oil and gas extraction, permeability enhancement for geothermal exploitation and waste fluid disposal. All of these activities have the potential to induce seismicity, as exemplified by the 2006 Basel earthquake (ML 3.4). Despite several decades of experience, the mechanisms of induced seismicity are not known in detail, which prevents effective risk assessment and/or mitigation. In this study, we provide an interpretation of induced seismicity based on computation of Coulomb stress changes that result from fluid injection/withdrawal at depth, mainly focused on the interpretation of induced seismicity due to stimulation of a geothermal reservoir. Seismicity is, theoretically, more likely where Coulomb stress changes are larger. For modeling purposes, we simulate the thermodynamic evolution of a system after fluid injection/withdrawal. The associated changes in pressure and temperature are subsequently considered as sources of incremental stress changes, which are then converted to Coulomb stress changes on favourably oriented faults, taking into account the background regional stress. Numerical results are applied to the water injection that was performed to create the fractured reservoir at the enhanced-geothermal-system site, Soultzsous-Forets (France). Our approach describes well the observed seismicity, and provides an explanation for the different behaviors of a system when fluids are injected or withdrawn.
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