Determination of Stress State from Focal Mechanisms of Microseismic Events Induced During Hydraulic Injection at the Hijiori Hot Dry Rock Site
— The stress state at the Hijiori hot dry rock site was estimated based on the inversion from focal mechanisms of microseismic events induced during hydraulic injection experiments. The best fit stress model obtained by inverting 58 focal mechanisms of seismic events simultaneously indicates that the maximum principal stress σ1 is vertical, while the minimum principal stress σ3 is horizontal and trends north-south. The average misfit between the stress model and all the data is 6.8°. The inversion results show that the average misfit is small enough to satisfy the assumption of homogeneity in the focal mechanism data and that the 95% confidence regions of σ1 and σ3 are well constrained, i.e., they do not overlap, suggesting that the inversion results are acceptable. The stress estimates obtained by the focal mechanism inversion essentially agree with other stress estimates previously obtained. It is therefore concluded that the focal mechanism inversion method provides a useful tool for estimating the stress state. The hypocentral distributions of microseismic events associated with the hydraulic fracturing experiments are distributed around the plane that spreads to almost east–west from the injection wells and declines to the north at a high angle. The vertical orientation and east–west strike of the seismic events are essentially coplanar with the caldera ring-fault structure in the southern portion of the Hijiori Caldera. This indicates that tensile fractures of intact rock were not being created, but pre-existing fractures were being re-opened and developed in the direction of the maximum horizontal principal stress, although microseismic events were caused by shear failures.
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