Induced Seismicity and Permeability Evolution in Gas Shales, CO2 Storage and Deep Geothermal Energy

  • Derek ElsworthEmail author
  • Kyunjae Im
  • Yi Fang
  • Takuya Ishibashi
  • Chaoyi Wang
Conference paper


Contemporary methods of energy conversions that reduce carbon intensity include sequestering CO2, fuel switching to lower-carbon sources, such as from gas shales, and recovering deep geothermal energy via EGS. In all of these endeavors, either maintaining the low permeability and integrity of caprocks or in controlling the growth of permeability in initially very-low-permeability shales and geothermal reservoirs represent key desires. At short-timescales of relevance, permeability is driven principally by deformations – in turn resulting from changes in total stresses, fluid pressure or thermal and chemical effects. These deformations may be intrinsically stable or unstable, result in aseismic or seismic deformation, with resulting changes in permeability conditioned by the deformational mode. We report observations, experiments and models to represent the respective roles of mineralogy, texture, scale and overpressures on the evolution of friction, stability and permeability in fractured rocks – and their interrelationships. The physics of these observed behaviors are explored via parametric studies and surface measurement of fractures, showing that both permeability and frictional strength are correlated to the fracture asperity evolution that is controlled in-turn by the sliding velocity and fracture material.


Induced seismicity Permeability evolution Shale gas CO2 sequestration EGS 



This work is the result of support provided by DOE Grant DE-FE0023354. This support is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Derek Elsworth
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kyunjae Im
    • 1
  • Yi Fang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takuya Ishibashi
    • 1
    • 3
  • Chaoyi Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Energy and Mineral Engineering, G3 Center, EMS Energy InstitutePennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  2. 2.Institute for GeophysicsThe University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  3. 3.Fukushima Renewable Energy Institute, National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and TechnologyKoriyamaJapan

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