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ESE Seminar - Eric Dunham: Fluid-driven seismic and aseismic slip: Theory, modeling, and case studies

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The injection of fluids into Earth's subsurface can trigger fault slip by increasing pore fluid pressure and reducing fault strength. Slip can be fast, in the form of earthquakes that produce detectable or even damaging ground shaking, or slow (aseismic), which can shear well casing or open permeable pathways through caprock seals. This talk provides an overview of recent work on coupled modeling of porous flow with porosity and permeability evolution, frictional slip, and solid mechanics. Analytical solutions predicting the outward migration rate of fluid-driven slip from an injector are combined with simulations of seismic and aseismic slip. I also present two case studies, the first involving aseismic slip on shallow, ~10 km long faults in the Delaware Basin, Texas, and the second involving microseismicity during stimulation in the Cooper Basin, Australia, enhanced geothermal systems project.



Eric M. Dunham is a Professor in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University and a member of Stanford's Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. His research explores the physics of natural hazards like earthquakes, volcanoes, and tsunamis, and more generally, computational physics-based modeling of hazards and wave propagation in solids and fluids. He received his PhD in Physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2005, with support of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship, before moving to Harvard University as a Reginald A. Daly postdoctoral fellow and later as a Lecturer on Applied Math. He is an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Physics and a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER award and the Stanford School of Earth Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award. He teaches classes at Stanford on earthquake processes, wave propagation in solids and fluids, geophysical mechanics and dynamics, and scientific computing.