Fault reactivation by gas injection at an underground gas storage off the east coast of Spain

Published on Jan 14, 2020in Solid Earth3.337
· DOI :10.5194/SE-11-63-2020
Antonio Villaseñor33
Estimated H-index: 33
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council),
Robert B. Herrmann55
Estimated H-index: 55
(SLU: Saint Louis University)
+ 1 AuthorsArantza Ugalde10
Estimated H-index: 10
(CSIC: Spanish National Research Council)
Sources
Abstract
Abstract. During September–October of 2013 an intense swarm of earthquakes occurred off the east coast of Spain associated with the injection of the base gas in an offshore underground gas storage. Two weeks after the end of the injection operations, three moderate-sized earthquakes ( M w 4.0–4.1) occurred near the storage. These events were widely felt by the nearby population, leading to the indefinite shut-down of the facility. Here we investigate the source parameters (focal depth and mechanism) of the largest earthquakes in the sequence in order to identify the faults reactivated by the gas injection, and to help understand the processes that caused the earthquakes. Our waveform modeling results indicate that the largest earthquakes occurred at depths of 6–8 km beneath the sea floor, significantly deeper than the injection depth (~ 1800 m). Although we cannot undoubtedly discriminate the fault plane from the two nodal planes of the mechanisms, most evidence seems to favor a NW-SE striking fault plane. We propose that the gas injection reactivated unmapped faults in the Paleozoic basement, with regional orientation possibly inherited from the opening of the Valencia Trough.
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References32
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#1P. Bhattacharya (IIT BBS: Indian Institute of Technology Bhubaneswar)H-Index: 4
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Abstract. On 24 September 2013, an Ml 3.6 earthquake struck in the Gulf of Valencia (Spain) near the Mediterranean coast of Castello, roughly 1 week after gas injections conducted in the area to develop underground gas storage had been halted. The event, felt by the nearby population, led to a sequence build-up of felt events which reached a maximum of Ml 4.3 on 2 October. Here, we study the role of static stress transfer as an earthquake-triggering mechanism during the main phase of the sequenc...
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This research was funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation EAR- 0808939. The deployment of the IberArray broadband seismic network is part of the CONSOLIDER-Ingenio 2010 TOPO-IBERIA (CSD2006-00041: Geosciences in Iberia: Integrated studies on Topography and 4-D Evolution) grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. Additional funding was provided by the Spanish ministry under grants CGL2010-17280, CGL2006-01171,CGL2009-09727, and CGL2007-63889,and by Generalitat de Catalunya...
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A spatially localized seismic sequence originated few tens of kilometres offshore the Mediterranean coast of Spain, close to the Ebro river delta, starting on 2013 September 5, and asting at least until 2013 October. The sequence culminated in a maximal moment magnitude Mw 4.3 earthquake, on 2013 October 1. The most relevant seismogenic feature in the area is the Fosa de Amposta fault system, which includes different strands mapped at different distances to the coast, with a general NE–SW orient...
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