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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access March 25, 2019

Geomechanical Modeling of Fault Systems Using the Material Point Method – Application to the Estimation of Induced Seismicity Potential to Bolster Hydraulic Fracturing Social License

Nicholas M. Umholtz and Ahmed Ouenes


In an effort to promote awareness and understanding of the phenomena of induced seismicity, geomechanical modeling is applied to large publicly available datasets to demonstrate the potential for bolstering social license. The Material Point Method (MPM) is used to simulate the interaction of fault systems with regional stresses. By combining mechanical results of the simulation to create induced seismicity potential (ISP) proxies, mapsn are generated to express areas of high and low inducement potential of seismic events. The results are compared to recent earthquake epicenter and injection well data. High coincidence of earthquake epicenters with regions of predicted high induced seismicity potential suggests the workflow presented could be deployed to quantify the risk of induced seismicity associated with the location of high-volume injection wells. The addition of a tool to assess the impact of location, not only injection volumes, is another critical step towards responsible regulation of injection wells, and mitigation of induced seismic events.


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Received: 2016-04-27
Accepted: 2016-11-03
Published Online: 2019-03-25
Published in Print: 2016-12-01

© 2016 Nicholas M. Umholtz et al., published by Sciendo

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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