pure and applied geophysics

, Volume 134, Issue 3, pp 427–450 | Cite as

Seismicity induced by gas production: II. Lithology correlated events, induced stresses and deformation

  • Jean-Robert Grasso
  • Bruno Feignier


A 3D relocation technique permits precise locations of induced earthquakes. Geostatistical processing using the data of 87 boreholes provides the basis of a precise 3D structure, with a dome geometry. Conventional laboratory mechanical tests performed on deep rock samples (1000 m to 5000 m) define the rock properties at depths similar to those of the seismic events (1<ML<4.2) that range from 1 to 7 km.

In the studied period, most (85%), of the events were located above the gas reservoir, with very few located in the reservoir itself. Because the production parameters (50 MPa depletion of the gas pressure reservoir) are homogeneous throughout the gas field, the lateral inhomogeneity of the seismic rupture locations are a consequence of variations in the rheological response of the dome to the deformation induced by gas production.

Here a ratio of two is found between the elastic modulus of the seismic rock matrix and the elastic modulus of the aseismic rock matrix. The contrast in strength is at least as great, if not greater. Repeated measured surface deformations involve the whole structure. Spatial and temporal deformations indicate that aseismic deformation is quantitatively the main process of this structural deformation. The heterogeneous stress pattern inferred fromP-axes of induced earthquakes disagrees with the tectonic regional stress field. The radial distribution ofP-axes towards the gas reservoir probably reflects the production induced deformation. The inferred deformation of the dome occurs in response to weak induced stresses.

Key words

Induced seismicity gas production rock mechanic regional stress field Pyrenees 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Robert Grasso
    • 1
  • Bruno Feignier
    • 1
  1. 1.Observatoire de Grenoble, Laboratoire de Geophysique Interne et TectonophysiqueIRIGMGrenobleFrance

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