Surface uplift and time-dependent seismic hazard due to fluid injection in eastern Texas

Manoochehr Shirzaei, William L. Ellsworth, Kristy F. Tiampo, Pablo J. González, Michael Manga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Observations that unequivocally link seismicity and wastewater injection are scarce. Here we show that wastewater injection in eastern Texas causes uplift, detectable in radar interferometric data up to >8 kilometers from the wells. Using measurements of uplift, reported injection data, and a poroelastic model, we computed the crustal strain and pore pressure.We infer that an increase of >1 megapascal in pore pressure in rocks with low compressibility triggers earthquakes, including the 4.8moment magnitude event that occurred on 17 May 2012, the largest earthquake recorded in eastern Texas. Seismic activity increased even while injection rates declined, owing to diffusion of pore pressure from earlier periods with higher injection ates. Induced seismicity potential is suppressed where tight confining formations prevent pore pressure from propagating into crystalline basement rocks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1416-1419
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume353
Issue number6306
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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    Shirzaei, M., Ellsworth, W. L., Tiampo, K. F., González, P. J., & Manga, M. (2016). Surface uplift and time-dependent seismic hazard due to fluid injection in eastern Texas. Science, 353(6306), 1416-1419. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aag0262