Testing for the ‘predictability’ of dynamically triggered earthquakes in Geysers Geothermal Field

Earth and Planetary Science Letters
By: , and 



The Geysers geothermal field is well known for being susceptible to dynamic triggering of earthquakes by large distant earthquakes, owing to the introduction of fluids for energy production. Yet, it is unknown if dynamic triggering of earthquakes is ‘predictable’ or whether dynamic triggering could lead to a potential hazard for energy production. In this paper, our goal is to investigate the characteristics of triggering and the physical conditions that promote triggering to determine whether or not triggering is in anyway foreseeable. We find that, at present, triggering in The Geysers is not easily ‘predictable’ in terms of when and where based on observable physical conditions. However, triggered earthquake magnitude positively correlates with peak imparted dynamic stress, and larger dynamic stresses tend to trigger sequences similar to mainshock–aftershock sequences. Thus, we may be able to ‘predict’ what size earthquakes to expect at The Geysers following a large distant earthquake.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Testing for the ‘predictability’ of dynamically triggered earthquakes in Geysers Geothermal Field
Series title Earth and Planetary Science Letters
DOI 10.1016/j.epsl.2018.01.015
Volume 486
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 129
Last page 140
Country United States
State California
Other Geospatial The Geysers geothermal field
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