Different hydraulic responses to the 2008 Wenchuan and 2011 Tohoku earthquakes in two adjacent far-field wells: the effect of shales on aquifer lithology

Yan Zhang, Li-Yun Fu, Yuchuan Ma, Junhua Hu
2016 Earth, Planets and Space  
Zuojiazhuang and Baodi are two adjacent wells (~50 km apart) in northern China. The large 2008 M w 7.9 Wenchuan and 2011 M w 9.1 Tohoku earthquakes induced different co-seismic water-level responses in these far-field (>1000 km) wells. The co-seismic water-level changes in the Zuojiazhuang well exhibited large amplitudes (~2 m), whereas those in the Baodi well were small and unclear (~0.05 m). The mechanism of the different co-seismic hydraulic responses in the two wells needs to be revealed.
more » ... s to be revealed. In this study, we used the barometric responses in different frequency domains and the phase shifts and amplitude ratios of the tidal responses (M 2 wave), together with the well logs, to explain this inconformity. Our calculations show that the co-seismic phase shifts of the M 2 wave decreased or remained unchanged in the Baodi well, which was quite different from the Zuojiazhuang well and from the commonly accepted phenomena. According to the well logs, the lithology of the Baodi well is characterized by the presence of a significant amount of shale. The low porosity/permeability of shale in the Baodi well could be the cause for the unchanged and decreased phase shifts and tiny co-seismic water-level responses. In addition, shale is one of the causes of positive phase shifts and indicates a vertical water-level flow, which may be due to a semi-confined aquifer or the complex and anisotropic fracturing of shale. which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
doi:10.1186/s40623-016-0555-5 fatcat:qiwjzr7bsrf4zh2zyga72bqfsa