11/19/14: Induced Seismicity, A Multidisciplinary Perspective

Listen to Induced Seismicity Webinar     Download the presentation slides  (presentation slides are 17.5M)

Webinar sessionDescription & objectives of the webinar:

This 'hosted' webinar will present a multi-disciplinary perspective on the current hot topic of induced seismicity. The widespread application of hydraulic fracturing to develop petroleum resources has increased the need to dispose of flowback fluids in deep injection wells. In several geographic areas this appears to have triggered earthquakes in locations where there is no previous historical record of earthquakes. Texas has had a very active petroleum industry for about a century, and at present there are more than 10,000 active disposal wells in Texas. Thus, Texas serves as a huge natural experiment where we can explore how earthquakes are related to both fluid injection and petroleum extraction. Tune in to this webinar to hear perspectives from an earthquake seismologist (Dr. Cliff Frohlich, Institute for Geophysics) and an expert in geomechanics (Dr. Jon Olson, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering) on the issue of induced seismicity. The webinar will be hosted by Dr. Mark McClure of the Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering. Dr. McClure will facilitate a lively discussion between the two presenters and preside over questions from the audience.

Intended learning outcomes:

  • After taking this webinar, students will:
  • be familiar with examples of earthquakes suspected of being triggered from human activity;
  • better understand data presented to them related to earthquakes, specifically those suspected of being induced by man-made activity;
  • have a concept of the various stresses in the Earth and the limits on stress;
  • understand the relationship between fault slip and earthquakes; and
  • have insight into when fluid injection causes earthquakes and how seismicity can be induced below frac gradient.

Instructor Bios:

Cliff FrohlichInstructor: Dr. Cliff Frohlich, Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Frohlich was born in Wisconsin, grew up in Ohio, South Dakota, and Maryland, then attended Grinnell College in Iowa, where he received a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics, and graduate school in New York, where he received a Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University. Since 1978 he has been a researcher at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, where he now serves as Associate Director. Dr. Frohlich is a seismologist with an interest in deep earthquakes, Texas earthquakes, induced seismicity, moonquakes, and the statistical analysis of earthquake catalogs.

Jon OlsonInstructor: Dr. Jon Olson, George H. Fancher Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Olson, a native of Minnesota, attended the University of Notre Dame where he received a B.S. in Civil Engineering and a B.S. in Earth Sciences. His Ph.D. in Applied Earth Sciences is from Stanford University. Prior to becoming a professor, Dr. Olson worked for Mobil Oil Company's Research Lab. At the university, his research focuses on production optimization and environmental impact issues related to hydraulic fracturing and unconventional oil and gas development, including: induced seismicity, physical and numerical modelling of hydraulic fracture propagation from horizontal wells, interaction of hydraulic fractures with natural fractures, wellbore stability and reservoir compaction and subsidence, as well as natural fracture characterization.

Mark McClureHost: Dr. Mark McClure, Assistant Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Mark McClure received his B.S. (Chemical Engineering), M.S. (Petroleum Engineering) and Ph.D. (Energy Resources Engineering) from Stanford University. Dr. McClure's research is focused on modeling and characterization in three complementary areas: hydraulic stimulation of shale gas reservoirs, hydraulic stimulation of geothermal reservoirs, and induced seismicity.

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