Extended-FEM analysis of injection-induced slip on a fault with rate-and-state friction: Insights into parameters that control induced seismicity

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The extended finite element method (X-FEM) is utilised to simulate the behavior of a heterogeneous fault characterized by rate-state frictional rheology, embedded within a poroelastic medium. The displacement and pore-pressure fields that are discontinuous across the fault are computed using X-FEM, by enriching the standard finite element approximation with additional degrees of freedom for elements intersected by the fault. We investigate a Mw 4.1 injection-induced earthquake in western Canada; this model incorporates depth-varying rate-slip behavior wherein a high-pressure zone due to hydraulic fracturing stimulation intersects the fault within a stable layer, producing aseismic slip that progressively loads an unstable fault region, thereby triggering dynamic rupture. Parametric studies using our numerical approach provide insights into the influence of rate-state parameters on fault activation, as well as hydraulic properties of a damage zone that surrounds the fault. Results confirm that aseismic slip near the injection zone propagates outwards to seismogenic unstable regions of the fault. The coseismic slip profile, seismic moment, and slip latency are determined by the difference a − b for rate-state parameters of the unstable fault regions. Hydraulic diffusivity in the damage zone controls the rate of pore-pressure diffusion along the fault, which affects timing of the initial seismic event and aftershock productivity.
This version of the article has been accepted for publication, after peer review and is subject to Springer Nature’s AM terms of use, but is not the Version of Record and does not reflect post-acceptance improvements, or any corrections. The Version of Record is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00603-023-03283-6
Hosseini, N., Priest, J. A., & Eaton, D. W. (2023). Extended-FEM Analysis of Injection-Induced Slip on a Fault with Rate-and-State Friction: Insights into Parameters that Control Induced Seismicity. Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00603-023-03283-6