In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention.
Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them.
Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies identifies gaps in knowledge and research needed to advance the understanding of induced seismicity; identify gaps in induced seismic hazard assessment methodologies and the research to close those gaps; and assess options for steps toward best practices with regard to energy development and induced seismicity potential.
National Research Council. 2013. Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/13355.
|1 Induced Seismicity and Energy Technologies
|2 Types and Causes of Induced Seismicity
|3 Energy Technologies: How They Work and Their Induced Seismicity Potential
|4 Governmental Roles and Responsibilities Related to Underground Injection and Induced Seismicity
|5 Paths Forward to Understanding and Managing Induced Seismicity in Energy Technology Development
|6 Steps Toward a "Best Practices" Protocol
|7 Addressing Induced Seismicity: Findings, Conclusions, Research, and Proposed Actions
|Appendix A: Committee and Staff Biographies
|Appendix B: Meeting Agendas
|Appendix C: Observations of Induced Seismicity
|Appendix D: Letters between Senator Bingaman and Secretary Chu
|Appendix E: Earthquake Size Estimates and Negative Earthquake Magnitudes
|Appendix F: The Failure of the Baldwin Hills Reservoir Dam
|Appendix G: Seismic Event Due to Fluid Injection or Withdrawal
|Appendix H: Pore Pressure Induced by Fluid Injection
|Appendix I: Hydraulic Fracture Microseismic Monitoring
|Appendix J: Hydraulic Fracturing in Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma, and Potential Link to Induced Seismicity
|Appendix K: Paradox Valley Unit Saltwater Injection Project
|Appendix L: Estimated Injected Fluid Volumes
|Appendix M: Additional Acknowledgments
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About 60% of the energy consumed in the United States come from fluids pumped from the ground. Activities related to producing this energy, including conventional oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy production, and underground injection of wastewater, have been linked to a small number manmade earthquakes. This video, based on the NRC report, examines the scientific basis for manmade seismic activity and discusses practices that can help reduce risks.
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