Description & 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: Dr. Jon Olson, George H. Fancher Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin
Host: Dr. Mark McClure, Assistant Professor, Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin