Stress perturbations from hydrological and industrial loads and seismicity in the Salt Lake City region

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Authors

Xie Hu , Xue Liang, Roland Bürgmann , Yuning Fu, Teng Wang

Abstract

The March 18, 2020 M5.7 Magna earthquake awakened people from decades of seismic quiescence in Salt Lake City, Utah. The event occurred just east of a mine tailings impoundment that receives ~60 million tons/yr of ore waste products since the early 1900s. Here we investigate elastic loading effects due to the anthropogenic mass transfer and various natural hydrological loads. We note a possible spatial correlation between earthquake clusters and Coulomb stress changes of tens of kPa due to the tailings loads. In contrast, long-term and seasonal stress changes from hydrological loads are only several kPa. A lack of statistically significant seasonality in seismicity suggests a weak control by cyclic hydrological loads. Anthropogenic loading rates of ~1 kPa/yr at seismogenic depths during recent decades may accelerate or decelerate event occurrences by several hundreds of years, mainly depending on the encompassing fault geometries.

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/2jh9v

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Other Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics

Keywords

Dates

Published: 2020-07-18 16:42

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License

CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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