Induced & triggered seismicity
Since about 2009, the rate of earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S. has dramatically increased, mostly due to wastewater injection in Oklahoma, but also due to various causes in Texas and other states. I am working with Mark D. Zoback to compile data and develop tools to mitigate the induced seismic hazard in Texas, New Mexico, and the surrounding region. To this end, we recently published two papers, which together compile about 300 new, robust principal stress magnitudes together with information about the faulting regime across Texas, New Mexico, and surrounding areas. Principal stress orientations and magnitudes are essential for understanding what triggered past earthquakes and for predicting the probability that specific faults could slip in future earthquakes due to fluid injection. Our first paper, published in 2016 in Geophysical Research Letters, presents the results of the Stress Map of Texas and examines recent, potentially triggered earthquakes in the context of the mapped stress field. A new paper, published in February 2018 in The Leading Edge, contributes over 100 additional maximum horizontal stress measurements and a refined map of the relative principal stresses (faulting regime), as well as a demonstration of the use of the free new FSP software to estimate the slip potential on publicly available mapped faults across the basin.