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Detailed 3D Seismic Velocity Structure of the Prague, Oklahoma Fault Zone and the Implications for Induced Seismicity
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  • Lipeng He,
  • Qimin Wu,
  • Xiaowei Chen,
  • Xinlei Sun,
  • Zhen Guo,
  • Yongshun Chen
Lipeng He
Southern University of Science and Technology
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Qimin Wu
Lettis Consultants International, Inc.

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Xiaowei Chen
University of Oklahoma
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Xinlei Sun
Chengdu University of Technology
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Zhen Guo
Southern University of Science and Technology
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Yongshun Chen
Southern University of Science and Technology
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The 2011 Mw 5.7 Prague earthquake is the second largest induced earthquake in Oklahoma, and occurred after decades of wastewater disposal. The local geological structure that led to the triggering of this large earthquake is not well understood. In this study, tomographic inversion of seismic data recorded by a dense local seismic network resulted in a high-resolution 3D velocity model with three major layers. The model clearly illuminates the geometry and characteristics of the Meeker-Prague Fault that hosted the 2011 Prague sequence. A conceptual model is proposed to link the tomographic structure to the triggering process of the sequence. The low-permeability second layer at ~1.5-3.5 km may be the key that delays the occurrence of the first sizeable earthquake after decades of wastewater injection. However, a low-shear-velocity zone within this layer at the intersection of two major faults could have provided a fluid pathway to facilitate downward fluid propagation.
28 Dec 2021Published in Geophysical Research Letters volume 48 issue 24. 10.1029/2021GL096137