GST September 2019 Luncheon

  • September 12, 2019
  • 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Baxter's Interurban Grill, South Houston Avenue #100, Tulsa, OK


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Speaker: Xiaowei Chen 

Bio:  I have been chasing earthquakes since my summer internship at Yunnan Province in 2006, which is one of the most seismic active regions in ChinaAfter obtaining my bachelor’s degree at USTC in China in 2007, I moved to California for graduate study in 2007. In March 2013, I obtained my doctoral degree from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego. Motivated by the Tohoku earthquake, I visited Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo as a visiting research fellow after graduation from April to August 2013. After returning to the U.S., I relocated to Massachusetts to study subduction earthquakes in the Pacific west coast from August 2013 to December 2014. From January 2015, I relocated to Oklahoma and became an assistant professor at the School of Geosciences at University of Oklahoma. Here, I studied induced earthquakes in Oklahoma and beyond.For my research, I use a variety of seismological analysis tools to understand: how do earthquakes interact with each other? how do earthquakes respond to external stress perturbations, either man-made or natural? what is the rupture process of earthquakes? what controls the maximum size expected of the earthquake on individual faults?

Title: Comprehensive overview of injection induced earthquakes in Oklahoma

Abstract: In the past decade, Oklahoma has experienced dramatic increase in seismicity rate, which are mostly related to wastewater injection in central and north Oklahoma. In recent years, induced earthquakes due to hydraulic fracturing events have been increasing in the Scoop&Stack play. In this presentation, I combine several studies to provide a complete overview of Oklahoma induced seismicity. First, I will discuss how the seismicity pattern could help us understand subsurface hydraulic parameters at large scales based on analysis of spatiotemporal patterns of seismicity. Second, I will discuss how the improved hydraulic parameters and stress conditions can help us predict seismicity rate from wastewater injection volume based on physical models. Finally, focusing on the Scoop&Stack Play, I will discuss how to robustly identify hydraulic wells that are associated with earthquakes, and what are the characteristics of wells that are causing earthquakes. 


1. Haffener, J*., X. Chen, and K. Murray (2018), Multi-scale analysis of spatiotemporal relationship between injection and seismicity in Oklahoma, J. Geophys. Res.

2. Guang Zhai, Manoochehr Shirzaei, Michael Manga, Xiaowei Chen (2019) Pore pressure diffusion, enhanced by poroelastic stresses, controls induced seismicity in Oklahoma, PNAS.

3. Sundberg, S*, X. Chen, J. I. Walter and Y. Qin (2018), A Quantitative Analysis of Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Seismicity in Oklahoma, AGU fall 2018, S23A-0504.

"Geophysical Society of Tulsa (GST)" is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Oklahoma, P.O. Box 2784, Tulsa, OK 174101

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