Correlation between spatial and magnitude distributions of microearthquakes during hydraulic fracture stimulation

J. P. Verdon*, A. Wuestefeld, J. T. Rutledge, I. G. Main, J. M. Kendall

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Seismic and microseismic event populations can be characterized by their spatial and magnitude distributions. The magnitude distribution is described by the Gutenberg-Richter b value. The spatial distribution can be described by the two-point correlation coefficient, Dc. We observe spatio-temporal variations in both b and Dc during hydraulic fracture stimulation in the Cotton Valley tight gas reservoir. We find that during the initial stages of the fracture stimulations, b is high while Dc is low, implying that deformation is dominated by smaller events clustered at points near the injection well. As injection progresses, b decreases and Dc increases. We investigate correlation between b values and Dc, which can be indicative of the style of fracturing. Initially, b and Dc are negatively correlated, consistent with mechanical weakening during the early stages of fracturing. As the stimulation progresses, b and Dc become positively correlated, consistent with later stabilization of the fractures and mechanical hardening when the induced fracture intersects a pre-existing fault. The mechanism of hardening may be crack blunting while propagating into a pre-existing fractured or damaged zone.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2013 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013
Subtitle of host publicationChanging Frontiers
PublisherEuropean Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, EAGE
Pages5374-5378
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781629937915
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Event75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2013 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013: Changing Frontiers - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 10 Jun 201313 Jun 2013

Conference

Conference75th European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers Conference and Exhibition 2013 Incorporating SPE EUROPEC 2013: Changing Frontiers
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period10/06/1313/06/13

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