Probabilistic Forecasting of Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Seismicity Using an Injection-Rate Driven ETAS Model

Simone Mancini*, Max Werner, Margarita Segou, Brian J. Baptie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The development of robust forecasts of human-induced seismicity is highly desirable to mitigate the effects of disturbing or damaging earthquakes. We assess the performance of a well-established statistical model, the Epidemic-Type Aftershock Sequence (ETAS) model, with a catalog of ~93,000 microearthquakes observed at the Preston New Road (UK) unconventional shale gas site during and after hydraulic fracturing of the PNR-1z and PNR-2 wells. Because ETAS was developed for slower loading rate tectonic seismicity, in order to account for seismicity generated by pressurized fluid we also generate three modified ETAS with background rates proportional to injection rates. We find that (1) the standard ETAS captures low seismicity between and after injections but is outperformed by the modified model during high seismicity periods, and (2) the injection-rate driven ETAS substantially improves when the forecast is calibrated on sleeve-specific pumping data. We finally forecast out-of-sample the PNR-2 seismicity using the average response to injection observed at PNR-1z, achieving better predictive skills than the in-sample standard ETAS. The insights from this study contribute towards producing informative seismicity forecasts for real-time decision making and risk mitigation techniques during unconventional shale gas development.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSeismological Research Letters
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021


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