Volume 29 Issue 2
Apr.  2023
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ZHU Siyu, CAO Jiawen, FENG Chengjun, et al., 2023. Study on fault-slip potential induced by water injection in the deep thermal reservoir of the Gaoyang low uplift, Hebei Province. Journal of Geomechanics, 29 (2): 220-235. DOI: 10.12090/j.issn.1006-6616.2022093
Citation: ZHU Siyu, CAO Jiawen, FENG Chengjun, et al., 2023. Study on fault-slip potential induced by water injection in the deep thermal reservoir of the Gaoyang low uplift, Hebei Province. Journal of Geomechanics, 29 (2): 220-235. DOI: 10.12090/j.issn.1006-6616.2022093

Study on fault-slip potential induced by water injection in the deep thermal reservoir of the Gaoyang low uplift, Hebei Province

doi: 10.12090/j.issn.1006-6616.2022093

the Investigation and Assessment of Geosafety Risks in Megacities and Urban Agglomerations, China DD20230540

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  • Received: 2022-07-25
  • Revised: 2023-03-20
  • Accepted: 2023-03-22
  • Recently, water injection-induced earthquakes caused by faulting instability have become a prominent geological safety issue for safely exploiting deep geothermal resources. This study investigates whether the future large-scale development of deep geothermal resources in the Gaoyang uplift will destabilize buried faults. There has a great amount of karst thermal reservoir in the Gaoyang low uplift, Hebei province. To find out whether the large-scale deep geothermal exploitation in the future will induce faults distributed in and around Gaoyang geothermal reservoir to become unstable, firstly, we calculate the initial stable state of the main buried faults based on Mohr-Coulomb criteria using the comprehensive in-situ stress field of North China; then, under Hsieh and Bredehoeft hydrological model, we calculate the possible excess pore pressure caused by water injection for 10~40 years at representative geothermal wells; subsequently, combing this perturbation with the initial stable state, we obtain the fault slip potential of the main buried faults from 2022 to 2062 based on a probabilistic approach; ultimately, we discuss the impact on the changes of fault slip potential due to varying angles between the maximum horizontal principal stress and the fault orientation. The main conclusions of this work can be drawn as follows. With the injection rate of 170 m3/h, the maximum excess pore pressure caused by a single geothermal well does not surpass 11 MPa, and it obeys a power decrease distribution with increasing distance from the center of the injection well; its influence scope is no more than 8 km. Continuous water injection strongly changes the stability of those buried faults distributed 2 km within the geothermal wells, and fault-slip potentials of some segmental faults even exceed 85%, corresponding to high unstable risk. Under 50 years of water injection at an injection well, the fault-slip potential of faults with different strikes within 2 km from the injection well increases rapidly with the declining angle among its orientation and the regional maximum horizontal principal stress. This paper's study methodology and associated findings can offer geoscientific justification for the safe exploration and exploitation of deep geothermal resources domestically and internationally. This study can provide a method reference for the location of injection wells and the selection of faults in different orientations in geothermal fields at home and abroad, thus promoting the safe and efficient development and utilization of geothermal resources.


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