Subsequent projects

Dr. Alice-Agnes Gabriel
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich
Fakultät für Geophysik - Department Geo- und Umweltwissenschaften

Prof. Dr. Jean-Paul Ampuero
California Institute of Technology, Pasadena (CALTECH)
Seismological Laboratory

Computational Earthquake Dynamics In Thick Fault Zones

Existing fault zone structures can provide a hydraulic conduit for fluid flow and pore pressure changes at
depth, which can reduce fault strength and hence increase earthquake hazard. Between 2008 and 2012,
a series of shallow earthquakes near Munich, Germany were suspected to be induced by the operation of
a geothermal power plant. This poses a new type of seismic hazard in a traditionally low seismic hazard
region. Detailed analysis indicates that the earthquakes can be associated to existing fault zones pierced
by the geothermal well. However, the relation between hydraulic properties in fault zones and the potential
of inducing earthquakes is largely unknown. We will study the effect of fluid content and permeability of
fault zones on the likelihood of earthquake initiation and on the maximum expected earthquake size using
physics-based earthquake simulations. To this end, we will employ the now optimized and extended
computational methods for high-performance computing at LMU to investigate the interaction between the
sizes of the fault zones and the fluid flow in the medium.


Primary project: Computational Earthquake Dynamics In Thick Fault Zones


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