Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Shcherbakov, Robert


In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in seismicity (earthquakes) due to anthropogenic activities related to the unconventional oil and gas exploration in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) and the central U.S. There are compelling evidences that hydraulic fracturing and wastewater injection operations in those areas play a key role in induced seismicity. To better understand the physical mechanisms involved, this thesis aims to explore the mechanisms responsible for occurrence of induced earthquakes: mainshock-aftershock triggering mechanism and poroelastic response. In the first approach, the obtained results indicate the relationship between the Coulomb stress changes after 4 moderate earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta and Timpson, Texas and their subsequent events. In the second approach, two hydraulic fracturing operations near Fox Creek are modelled to study the poroelastic response of the medium due to the fluid injection under specific site conditions. Pore pressure and stress changes for these two related earthquake clusters are computed and the sensitivities of the model parameters are analyzed.