ABSTRACT:

From 2009 to 2017, parts of Central America have experienced marked increases in the number of small to moderate sized earthquakes. For example three significant earthquakes (Mw>5) occurred near Prague, Oklahoma, United States in 2011. Some attribute these events to a natural origin, while some others have claimed that injection is the main cause. This study aims to understand the effect of water injection within Prague, Oklahoma to evaluate the potential for fluid flow along mechanical faults and fractures discontinuities and to explore the possibility of fault reactivation. A 3D coupled fluid-mechanical model is constructed in FLAC3D to study the effects of injection and the possibility of induced seismicity. To simulate the earthquake, a slip-weakening friction law is used to be able to capture sudden slip. The results show that possibility of induced seismicity in complex Pennsylvanian-age Wilzetta fault and Arbuckle group are dependent on many parameters such as geometry and architecture of faults, hydromechanical properties of faults and geologic units, and the assumed state of stress.

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