Rock Physics, Geomechanics and Hazard of Fluid-Induced Seismicity

Course Description

Part 1 (20% of the course) includes:

Rock physical and poroelastic fundamentals of fluid-induced seismicity (including microseismicity): Elastic waves, Elastic Anisotropy, Poroelastic waves, Slow wave and diffusion, Fluid flow in rocks, Seismic attenuation, Reservoir properties: permeability, porosity, fluid viscosity, fluid elasticity, rock elasticity.

Part 2 (20% of the course) includes:

Geomechanics and physics of faulting and earthquakes and principles of the microseismic monitoring method: faulting types, faulting criteria, tectonic stresses, rock criticality, detection, location, earthquake mechanisms, moment tensors and magnitudes of earthquakes, microseismic common receiver gathers, microseismic reflection imaging.

Part 3 (40% of the course) includes:

Various types of induced seismicity: production-induced earthquakes, injection induced earthquakes, geothermal systems, hydraulic fracturing, wastewater injection and carbon sequestration; interpretation of microseismic data for reservoir stimulation and hydraulic fracturing: types of induced seismicity, pressure diffusion, rt-plots, triggering fronts, back fronts, hydraulic diffusivity, event density, event rate, hydraulic anisotropy, hydraulic non-linearity, hydraulic fracturing, fracture propagation, volume balance, fluid loss, stimulated volume, correlations with hydrocarbon production, data quality control, estimation of hydraulic properties of rocks, fracture efficiency, enhanced permeability, permeability of fracture, permeability of rocks.

Part 4 (20% of the course) includes:

Fundamentals of assessment of induced-seismicity hazard (injection, post-injection and disposal operations): Seismicity statistics, Gutenberg-Richter law, Interevent times, Seismogenic index, Rupture propagation, Bounds of magnitude frequencies, Maximum expected magnitude, triggered and induced earthquakes, factors controlling hazard and requirements for microseismic monitoring; Hazard of various types of induced seismicity: hydraulic fracturing, geothermal systems, wastewater injection and carbon sequestration, hydrocarbon production, water reservoirs.

Course Outline

  • Rock physics and geomechanics of induced seismicity:
    • Poroelastic phenomena and seismic waves
    • Stress, pore pressure and rock failure
    • Geomechanics of tectonic and induced earthquakes
  • The method of microseismic monitoring:
    • Observation systems, detection and location of (micro)earthquakes
    • Microseismic wavefields and imaging
    • Seismicity, pressure diffusion and hydraulic fracturing:
    • Various types of induced seismicity
    • Modeling of fluid-induced seismicity
    • Seismicity during a fluid injection
    • Seismicity after a termination of a fluid injection
    • Hydraulic properties of reservoirs and induced seismicity
    • Hydraulic fracturing of hydrocarbon reservoirs
    • Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing
    • Non-linear diffusion and seismicity in unconventional reservoirs
  • Hazard of induced seismicity:
    • Rates and magnitudes of fluid-induced earthquakes
    • Seismogenic index
    • Statistics of large magnitudes
    • Hazard of various types of induced seismicity

Participants’ Profile

The course is targeted to Geophysicists, Geologists, Petrophysicists, Reservoir Engineers, Graduate and Postgraduate Students, Researchers, Interpreters.


Graduated (bachelor level) in geology, or geophysics, or physics, or mathematics, or petroleum engineering, or geosciences.

Recommended Reading

S.A. Shapiro, 2015, Fluid-Induced Seismicity, Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press, pp 289., ISBN: 9780521884570

About the Instructor

Serge A. Shapiro has been Professor of Geophysics at the Freie Universität Berlin, Germany since 1999, and since 2004, Director of the PHASE (PHysics and Application of Seismic Emission) university consortium project. From 2001 till 2008 he was one of Coordinator of the German Continental Deep Drilling Program (KTB). He was one of PIs of the 3rd KTB long-term fluid-induced seismicity experiment. His research interests include seismogenic processes, wave phenomena, exploration seismology, and rock physics. He received the SEG Virgil Kauffman Gold Medal in 2013 for his pioneering research on fluid-induced seismicity and rock physics, and in 2004 was elected a Fellow of The Institute of Physics (UK).