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Research Activities

From the perspectives of both fundamental studies and case studies, the proposed research will attempt to:

  • Identify physical processes primarily responsible for induced and triggered seismicity by working closely with sponsoring companies to study the mechanistic causes of induced and triggered seismicity;
  • Carry out intensive case studies of triggered (and not triggered) cases and developing physical models for scientifically based history matching and calibration;
  • Develop a predictive framework on the basis of baseline seismicity,regional tectonics, rock/fault properties and hydrogeology, the current state of stress/existence of potentially active faults and the likely perturbing mechanisms;
  • Develop mechanisms for ground motion prediction associated with different types of induced and triggered earthquakes in various geologic settings;
  • Assess the damage potential of ground motions from induced and triggered earthquakes;
  • Develop a probabilistic risk assessment framework by adapting existing PRA formalisms for induced and triggered earthquakes with an emphasis on the using both physical models and statistical information;
  • Develop alternative protocols for risk management that could be implemented in different applications. These include deterministic predictions, probabilistic assessments and stop light systems;
  • Assess, on a case-by-case basis, new data and new monitoring needs. Data needs include determining relevant subsurface conditions in and near planned injection zones (porosity, permeability and storage capacity, etc) background seismicity rates, the state of stress, existence of pre-existing faults, etc. Monitoring needs after activities get underway may require installation of local seismic networks and tracking sub-surface pressure changes;
  • Assist education and outreach efforts;
  • Create a forum for dialog among stakeholders actively engaged in risk management.

Among the initial activities of the proposed affiliates program will be to screen potential projects for study on the basis of optimal scientific return, the importance to public safety and planned industry activities with a desire to address a variety of operational contexts in different tectonic settings. In addition, the program will collaborate with sponsoring companies to plan field experiments for data gathering, analyze the data obtained and to support ancillary studies.