Like natural seismicity, induced seismicity caused by fluid injection also shows a power law size distribution, and its gradient b-value (ratio of small to large earthquakes) is often used for seismic hazard analysis. Despite well-known relationship that b-value is negatively correlated with differential stress for natural earthquakes, there is no understanding of the physical causes for b-value variations in injection-induced seismicity in the scale where the differential is nearly constant. We investigate a b-value dependence on the relative shear stress acting on existing fractures and show that the seismicity occurring along existing fractures with high shear stress have significantly lower b-values than does that associated with lower shear stress fractures. The b-value for injection induced seismicity is dependent on relative shear stress on faults. Our results provide a novel physical explanation for the bvalue variations of induced seismicity.
|Publication status||Published - 2020 May 30|
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