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Enhanced Remote Earthquake Triggering at Fluid-Injection Sites in the Midwestern United States

Enhanced Remote Earthquake Triggering at Fluid-Injection Sites in the Midwestern United States

Author:
Nicholas J. van der Elst

Date:
07.2013

Source / Publisher:
Science

Key findings:

  • The water injection appears to prime cracks in the rock, making them vulnerable to triggering by tremors from earthquakes thousands of miles away.
  • Evidence that injection wells can set the stage for more dangerous quakes: Because pressure from wastewater wells stresses nearby faults, if seismic waves speeding across Earth’s surface hit the fault it can rupture and, months later, produce an earthquake stronger than magnitude 5, as observed in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas.

Citation:
Nicholas J. van der Elst, Heather M. Savage, Katie M. Keranen, Geoffrey A. Abers, Enhanced Remote Earthquake Triggering at Fluid-Injection Sites in the Midwestern United States, Science Vol 341, Issue 6142, 12 July 2013
Abstract

Related press articles:
Sharon Begley, Study raises new concern about earthquakes and fracking fluids, Reuters, July 11, 2013
Laura Beans, Increased Frequency of Earthquakes Linked to Fracking Wastewater Injection Wells, EcoWatch, July 12, 2013
Natalie Starkey, Pumping water underground could trigger major earthquake, say scientists, Guardian, July 11, 2013
Sarah Griffiths, Fracking could lead to an ‘earthquake domino effect’ as it weakens fault lines deep in the earth’s crust, scientists claim, Mail online, July 12, 2013

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