The dynamic Earth involves feedbacks between the solid crust and both natural and anthropogenic fluid flows. Fluid-rock interactions drive many Earth phenomena, including volcanic unrest, seismic activities, and hydrological responses. Mitigating the hazards associated with these activities requires fundamental understanding of the underlying physical processes. Therefore, geophysical monitoring in combination with modeling provides valuable tools, suitable for hazard mitigation and risk management efforts. Magmatic activities and induced seismicity linked to fluid injection are two natural and anthropogenic processes discussed in this dissertation.
Successful forecasting of the timing, style, and intensity of a volcanic eruption is made possible by improved understanding of the volcano life cycle as well as building quantitative models incorporating the processes that govern rock melting, melt ascending, magma storage, eruption initiation, and interaction between magma and surrounding host rocks at different spatial extent and time scale. One key part of such models is the shallow magma chamber, which is generally directly linked to volcano’s eruptive behaviors. However, its actual shape, size, and temporal evolution are often not entirely known. To address this issue, I use space-based geodetic data with high spatiotemporal resolution to measure surface deformation at Kilauea volcano. The obtained maps of InSAR (Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar) deformation time series are exploited with two novel modeling schemes to investigate Kilauea’s shallow magmatic system. Both models can explain the same observation, leading to a new compartment model of magma chamber. Such models significantly advance the understanding of the physical processes associated with Kilauea’s summit plumbing system with potential applications for volcanoes around the world.
The unprecedented increase in the number of earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States since 2008 is attributed to massive deep subsurface injection of saltwater. The elevated chance of moderate-large damaging earthquakes stemming from increased seismicity rate causes broad societal concerns among industry, regulators, and the public. Thus, quantifying the time-dependent seismic hazard associated with the fluid injection is of great importance. To this end, I investigate the large-scale seismic, hydrogeologic, and injection data in northern Texas for period of 2007-2015 and in northern-central Oklahoma for period of 1995-2017. An effective induced earthquake forecasting model is developed, considering a complex relationship between injection operations and consequent seismicity. I find that the timing and magnitude of regional induced earthquakes are fully controlled by the process of fluid diffusion in a poroelastic medium and thus can be successfully forecasted. The obtained time-dependent seismic hazard model is spatiotemporally heterogeneous and decreasing injection rates does not immediately reduce the probability of an earthquake. The presented framework can be used for operational induced earthquake forecasting. Information about the associated fundamental processes, inducing conditions, and probabilistic seismic hazards has broad benefits to the society.