Permeability Changes Observed in the Arbuckle Group Coincident with Nearby Earthquake Occurrence

Elizabeth S. Cochran, Kayla A. Kroll, Keith B. Richards-Dinger, & Kyle D. Murray

Submitted July 28, 2017, SCEC Contribution #7351, 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting Poster #045

We investigate the temporal evolution of hydrologic properties of the ~2 km deep Arbuckle Group, the principal target in Oklahoma for saltwater disposal resulting from oil and gas production. Specifically, we look for changes to the hydrologic system associated with local earthquakes at two monitoring wells (Payne07 and 08) near Cushing, Oklahoma. The wells were instrumented with pressure transducers starting in Aug. 2016, after injection was discontinued due to regulatory directives. The observation period includes the 3 Sep 2016 Mw5.8 Pawnee and 7 Nov. 2016 Mw5.0 Cushing earthquakes located ~50 km and ~5 km from the wells, respectively. Previous studies have suggested the Mw5.8 Pawnee earthquake affected both the shallow and deep hydrological systems, with an increase in stream discharge observed near the mainshock (Manga et al., 2016) and a change in poroelastic properties of the Arbuckle inferred from the observed co-seismic water level offsets observed at Payne 07 and 08 (Kroll et al., 2017). Here, we use the water level response to solid Earth tides to estimate permeability and specific storage through time during the observation period. We measure the phase lag between the solid Earth tide and the water level changes and find that phase lag between the Earth tide and aquifer response decreases at the time of the Mw5.0 Cushing earthquake in both wells. Our results suggest permeability increased in the Arbuckle Group after the earthquake by a factor of ~5. It is possible that in extreme cases there may be complex interaction between saltwater disposal, hydrologic systems, and earthquake rates that should be considered to better understand seismic hazard.

Key Words
Permeability; Induced Seismicity

Citation
Cochran, E. S., Kroll, K. A., Richards-Dinger, K. B., & Murray, K. D. (2017, 07). Permeability Changes Observed in the Arbuckle Group Coincident with Nearby Earthquake Occurrence. Poster Presentation at 2017 SCEC Annual Meeting.


Related Projects & Working Groups
Seismology