Lateral migration relationships toward or away from injection wells revealed from Oklahoma seismic clusters

José Ángel López-Comino, Martin Galis, Paul Martin Mai, X. Chen, Daniel Stich

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Exploring the connections between injection wells and seismic migration patterns is key to understanding processes controlling growth of fluid-injection induced seismicity. Numerous seismic clusters in Oklahoma have been associated with wastewater disposal operations, providing a unique opportunity to investigate migration directions of each cluster with respect to the injection-well locations. This study focuses on new strategies to identify and quantify lateral migration toward or away from the injection wells. First, a comprehensive migration analysis is described to reach a representative migration vector for each seismic cluster. Next, we propose a new approach to define a well vector associated with multiple injection points, taking into account cumulative injected-volume and the injection-rate volume weighting, and considering also the expansion of the diffusion front. Injected fluids can be associated with an earthquake cluster only if they have sufficient time to reach the location of the cluster. Finally, new directivity migration parameters are introduced comparing the direction of migration and well vectors. Our results suggest a relationship between migration patterns and the cluster-well distances, but unclear relationship with injected volume and equivalent magnitudes. At shorter distances (up to ~13 km), we observe dominantly migration away from injection wells (particularly for distances shorter than ~5 km) that could be attributed to pore-pressure changes. However, we also find an opposite behavior, migration toward the wells, for larger distances, suggesting an increasing influence of poroelastic stress changes. This finding is more stable when considering cumulative injected-volume instead of injection-rate.
    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalBull. Seis. Soc. Am.
    StatePublished - 2020

    Bibliographical note

    KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2020-04-23
    Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): BAS/1/1339-01-01
    Acknowledgements: We thank the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) and USGS for continuous monitoring earthquake activities in Oklahoma. The research presented in this article is supported by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, by
    FRAGEN project (Fracture activation in geo-reservoirs - physics of (induced) earthquakes in complex fault networks), URF/1/3389-01-01, BAS/1/1339-01-01, and Spanish project CGL2015-67130-C2-2-R. J.A.L.C has also received funding from the European Union’s
    Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement Nº 754446 and UGR Research and Knowledge Transfer Found – Athenea3i; and by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Projektnummer (407141557). We also thank Justin Rubinstein and Simone Cesca for constructive comments and discussions.


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