Fluid-induced aseismic fault slip outpaces pore-fluid migration

Published on May 3, 2019in Science47.728
路 DOI :10.1126/SCIENCE.AAW7354
P. Bhattacharya4
Estimated H-index: 4
(IIT BBS: Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar),
Robert C. Viesca10
Estimated H-index: 10
(Tufts University)
Sources
Abstract
Earthquake swarms attributed to subsurface fluid injection are usually assumed to occur on faults destabilized by increased pore-fluid pressures. However, fluid injection could also activate aseismic slip, which might outpace pore-fluid migration and transmit earthquake-triggering stress changes beyond the fluid-pressurized region. We tested this theoretical prediction against data derived from fluid-injection experiments that activated and measured slow, aseismic slip on preexisting, shallow faults. We found that the pore pressure and slip history imply a fault whose strength is the product of a slip-weakening friction coefficient and the local effective normal stress. Using a coupled shear-rupture model, we derived constraints on the hydromechanical parameters of the actively deforming fault. The inferred aseismic rupture front propagates faster and to larger distances than the diffusion of pressurized pore fluid.
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Faults can slip seismically or aseismically depending on their hydromechanical properties, which can be measured in the laboratory. Here, we demonstrate that fault slip induced by fluid injection in a natural fault at the decametric scale is quantitatively consistent with fault slip and frictional properties measured in the laboratory. The increase in fluid pressure first induces accelerating aseismic creep and fault opening. As the fluid pressure increases further, friction becomes mainly rate ...
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