The fluid injection into the subsurface perturbs the states of pore pressure and stress on the pre-existing faults, potentially causing earthquakes. In the multiphase flow system, the contrast of fluid and rock properties between different structures produces the changes in pressure gradients and subsequently stress fields. Assuming two-phase fluid flow (gas-water system) and poroelasticity, we simulate the three-layered formation including a basement fault, in which injection-induced pressure encounters the fault directly given injection scenarios. The single-phase poroelasticity model with the same setting is also conducted to evaluate the multiphase flow effects on poroelastic response of the fault to gas injection. Sensitivity tests are performed by varying the fault permeability. The presence of gaseous phase reduces the pressure buildup within the highly gas-saturated region, causing less Coulomb stress changes, whereas capillarity increases the pore pressure within the gas-water mixed region. Even though the gaseous plume does not approach the fault, the poroelastic stressing can affect the fault stability, potentially the earthquake occurrence.
Coupled Hydro-Mechanical Modeling of Injection-Induced Seismicity in the Multiphase Flow System
Chang, K. W., Yoon, H., Martinez, M. J., and P. Newell. "Coupled Hydro-Mechanical Modeling of Injection-Induced Seismicity in the Multiphase Flow System." Paper presented at the 53rd U.S. Rock Mechanics/Geomechanics Symposium, New York City, New York, June 2019.
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