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Journal article Open Access

Evolution of seismicity in relation to fluid injection in the North-Western part of The Geysers geothermal field

Leptokaropoulos, K.; Staszek, M.; Lasocki, S.; Martınez-Garzon, P.; Kwiatek, G.

The Geysers geothermal field located in California, USA, is the largest geothermal site in the world, operating since the 1960s. We here investigate and quantify the correlation between temporal seismicity evolution and variation of the injection data by examination of time-series through specified statistical tools (binomial test to investigate significant rate changes, cross correlation between seismic and injection data, b-value variation analysis). To do so, we utilize seismicity and operational data associated with two injection wells (Prati-9 and Prati-29) which cover a time period of approximately 7 yr (from November 2007 to August 2014). The seismicity is found to be significantly positively correlated with the injection rate. The maximum correlation occurs with a seismic response delay of ∼2 weeks, following injection operations. Those results are very stable even after considering hypocentral uncertainties, by applying a vertical shift of the events foci up to 300 m. Our analysis indicates also time variations of b-value, which exhibits significant positive correlation with injection rates.

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