Stabilization of fault slip by fluid injection in the laboratory and in situ

Frédéric Cappa, Marco Maria Scuderi, Cristiano Collettini, Yves Guglielmi, Jean Philippe Avouac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Faults can slip seismically or aseismically depending on their hydromechanical properties, which can be measured in the laboratory. Here, we demonstrate that fault slip induced by fluid injection in a natural fault at the decametric scale is quantitatively consistent with fault slip and frictional properties measured in the laboratory. The increase in fluid pressure first induces accelerating aseismic creep and fault opening. As the fluid pressure increases further, friction becomes mainly rate strengthening, favoring aseismic slip. Our study reveals how coupling between fault slip and fluid flow promotes stable fault creep during fluid injection. Seismicity is most probably triggered indirectly by the fluid injection due to loading of nonpressurized fault patches by aseismic creep.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaau4065
JournalScience Advances
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 1 Jan 2019


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