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Remote Sens. 2018, 10(2), 283; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10020283

SBAS Analysis of Induced Ground Surface Deformation from Wastewater Injection in East Central Oklahoma, USA

Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63108, USA
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Received: 20 December 2017 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 12 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Radar Interferometry for Geohazards)
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Abstract

The state of Oklahoma has experienced a dramatic increase in the amount of measurable seismic activities over the last decade. The needs of a petroleum-driven world have led to increased production utilizing various technologies to reach energy reserves locked in tight formations and stimulate end-of-life wells, creating significant amounts of undesirable wastewater ultimately injected underground for disposal. Using Phased Array L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) data, we performed a differential Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry (InSAR) technique referred to as the Small BAseline Subset (SBAS)-based analysis over east central Oklahoma to identify ground surface deformation with respect to the location of wastewater injection wells for the period of December 2006 to January 2011. Our results show broad spatial correlation between SBAS-derived deformation and the locations of injection wells. We also observed significant uplift over Cushing, Oklahoma, the largest above ground crude oil storage facility in the world, and a key hub of the Keystone Pipeline. This finding has significant implications for the oil and gas industry due to its close proximity to the zones of increased seismicity attributed to wastewater injection. Results southeast of Drumright, Oklahoma represent an excellent example of the potential of InSAR, identifying a fault bordered by an area of subduction to the west and uplift to the east. This differentiated movement along the fault may help explain the lack of any seismic activity in this area, despite the large number of wells and high volume of fluid injected. View Full-Text
Keywords: InSAR; Oklahoma; injection wells; Wilzetta Fault Zone; Cushing; Drumright InSAR; Oklahoma; injection wells; Wilzetta Fault Zone; Cushing; Drumright
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Loesch, E.; Sagan, V. SBAS Analysis of Induced Ground Surface Deformation from Wastewater Injection in East Central Oklahoma, USA. Remote Sens. 2018, 10, 283.

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