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An induced seismicity experiment across a creeping segment of the Philippine Fault

Abstract : The location of seismicity induced by forced fluid flow provides information about domains of pore pressure variation, while changes in fluid content are identified through changes in seismic velocity. These effects have been investigated in the geothermal field of Tongonan, which lies on a creeping portion of the Philippine Fault on Ley te Island. Locally, the left-lateral strike-slip Philippine Fault branches out into three subparallel segments (Eastern, Central and Western Fault Lines). In June-July 1997, a water stimulation was undertaken in a well that intersects the Central Fault Line 1980 m below ground surface; 36,000 m3 were injected between the casing shoe at 1308 m and the well bottom at 2177 m. The seismicity was monitored with a surface station network of 18 stations. More than 400 events, induced by the injection experiment as well as by routine injections associated with the geothermal field exploitation, were recorded in the vicinity of the well. They have been located through a simultaneous three-dimensional (3-D) velocity-hypocenter inversion procedure. None of the microearthquakes are located along the Central Fault Line, they all occurred below the casing shoe to the east of the fault line, i.e., within the geothermal reservoir and mostly below the bottom of the well. Results from the injection experiment and the 18 months of seismic monitoring along the Central and West Fault Lines suggest an aseismic behavior of this major continental fault at this location. The 3-D velocity model, determined from the travel time inversion for seismic events observed during injections, is compared to that obtained from seismic monitoring conducted prior to any injection activities. An increase of P wave velocity is observed during the water injection. This velocity increase is localized within the seismicity cloud and is interpreted as an increase in liquid content within the initial liquid-vapor multiphase part of the reservoir.
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R. Prioul, F. H. Cornet, C. Dorbath, L. Dorbath, M. Ogena, et al.. An induced seismicity experiment across a creeping segment of the Philippine Fault. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 2000, 105, pp.13,595-13,612. ⟨10.1029/2000JB900052⟩. ⟨insu-03596940⟩

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