In the Song Tranh 2 (ST2) hydropower reservoir located in the Quang Nam province, Central Vietnam, earthquakes started occurring soon after impoundment of the reservoir in late 2010. Earthquakes continue to occur in the region, and two earthquakes of M 4.6 and 4.7 on October 22, 2012 and November 15, 2012, respectively, have been reported (Trieu et al. 2014; Giang et al. 2015) in the vicinity of the reservoir. In the present study, b-value has been estimated, and focal mechanism solutions have been computed for the first time using moment tensor inversion approach. Also, the influence of impoundment of reservoir on the occurrence of earthquakes has been computed for the ST2 region based on Coulomb stress. A quality data set of 595 earthquakes recorded for the period of October 2012 to April 2014 at ten stations of the seismic network operated by the Institute of Geophysics (IGP) has been used to calculate b-values for the northern and southern seismicity clusters of the region. In general, the b-values associated with reservoir-triggered seismicity (RTS) are found to be higher than the regional b-values in the frequency-magnitude relation of earthquakes. For the ST2 region, it is found that the b-values for the northern and southern clusters are 0.94 ± 0.04 and 0.90 ± 0.04, respectively. Focal mechanism solutions obtained for the two earthquakes close to the reservoir have a right-lateral strike-slip mechanism, with the preferred planes trending NW-SE. These results are concurrent with the orientation of the nearby local surface faults, which we confirm as the active faults in this region. Influence of the stresses due to reservoir water load on the local seismicity is computed based on the obtained focal mechanism by using the concept of fault stability. It is found that most of the earthquakes occur in the positive Coulomb stress region, which shows the influence of reservoir impoundment on earthquake occurrence in the vicinity. Our results suggest that the local earthquakes are triggered by the impoundment of the ST2 reservoir.
Journal of Seismology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 27, 2017
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