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A risk-based approach for managing induced seismicity

Event Details:

Thursday, December 3, 2020
9:00am - 10:00am PST

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You Tube Video (password required)

If you need access to the file above please contact Denise Baughman.


Risks from induced earthquakes are a growing concern with a need for effective management.  We have developed a risk-informed strategy for choosing red-light thresholds for hydraulic fracturing, the threshold requiring immediate response by the operator.  To illustrate the concepts, we apply it to the Eagle Ford shale play in southern Texas.  We utilize a combination of probabilistic maximum magnitudes, formation depth, site amplification, ground motion relationships, felt/damaging tolerances, and population information to simulate nuisance and damage impacts.  Induced earthquake impacts are spatially heterogeneous, with greater consequences in the northeast of the play and relatively little in the southwest – with much of this heterogeneity being driven by concentrations of population density.  Nuisance impacts have a longer range than damage impacts, creating spatial risk heterogeneities of differing wavelengths.  Our results suggest that spatially varying red-light thresholds normalized on these impacts is fairer and safer than a single threshold applied over a broad area.  These normalized red-light thresholds vary between Mw 2.0-5.0, for the risk tolerances used in this example.  Sensitivity tests indicate that the forecast maximum magnitude and ground motion uncertainty are the most influential parameters.  Our method provides a guideline for traffic light protocols designed in a risk-informed manner that retains the implementational simplicity of magnitude-based thresholds.

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