22 Sep 2022
22 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal HESS.

The origin of hydrological responses following earthquakes in confined aquifer: Insight from water level, flow rate and temperature observations

Shouchuan Zhang1,2, Zheming Shi1, Guangcai Wang1, Zuochen Zhang3, and Huaming Guo1 Shouchuan Zhang et al.
  • 1MOE Key Laboratory of Groundwater Circulation and Environmental Evolution, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China
  • 2Chinese Academy of Geological Science, Beijing, China
  • 3Institute of Geomechanics, Chinese Academy of Geological Science, Beijing, China

Abstract. Although many mechanisms of earthquake-induced hydrological response have been proposed in recent decades, the origins of these responses remain enigmatic and a quantitative understanding of them is lacking. In this study, we quantitatively analyzed water level, flow rate, and water temperature data from an artesian well in southwestern China before and after multiple earthquakes. Water level and temperature always showed co-seismic step-like increases following earthquakes, which were independent of the earthquakes’ epicentral distances and magnitudes. Tidal analysis found changes in aquifer and aquitard permeability following these earthquakes, which correspond to the post-seismic discharge of 85~273 m3. Furthermore, we coupled the flow rate and temperature data to model the mixing processes that occurred following each earthquake. The results indicate that co-seismic temperature changes are the result of the mixing of different volumes of water from shallow and deep aquifers, with the mixing ratio varying according to each earthquake.

Shouchuan Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 17 Nov 2022)

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Shouchuan Zhang et al.

Shouchuan Zhang et al.


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Short summary
We documented the step-like increases of water level, flow rate and water temperatures in a confined aquifer following multiple earthquakes. By employing tidal analysis and coupled temperature and flow rate model, we find that post-seismic vertical permeability changes and recharge model could explain the co-seismic response. And co-seismic temperature changes are caused by mixing of different volumes of water, with mixing ratio varying according to each earthquake.