Constraining maximum event magnitude during injection-triggered seismicity.
- Author(s): Li, Ziyan;
- Elsworth, Derek;
- Wang, Chaoyi;
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20700-4
Understanding mechanisms controlling fluid injection-triggered seismicity is key in defining strategies to ameliorate it. Recent triggered events (e.g. Pohang, Mw 5.5) have exceeded predictions of average energy release by a factor of >1000x, necessitating robust methodologies to both define critical antecedent conditions and to thereby constrain anticipated event size. We define maximum event magnitudes resulting from triggering as a function of pre-existing critical stresses and fluid injection volume. Fluid injection experiments on prestressed laboratory faults confirm these estimates of triggered moment magnitudes for varied boundary conditions and injection rates. In addition, observed ratios of shear slip to dilation rates on individual faults signal triggering and may serve as a measurable proxy for impending rupture. This new framework provides a robust method of constraining maximum event size for preloaded faults and unifies prior laboratory and field observations that span sixteen decades in injection volume and four decades in length scale.