The original article was written by William Ellsworth, Jessica Robertson and Christopher Hook
July 12, 2013 — The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. More than 300 earthquakes above a magnitude 3.0 occurred in the three years from 2010-2012, compared with an average rate of 21 events per year observed from 1967-2000.
USGS scientists have found that at some locations the increase in seismicity coincides with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose.
Review Article on Injection-Induced Earthquakes
U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist William Ellsworth reviewed the issue of injection-induced earthquakes in a recent study published in the journal Science. The article focused on the injection of fluids into deep wells as a common practice for disposal of wastewater, and discusses recent events and key scientific challenges for assessing this hazard and moving forward to reduce associated risks.
What is Induced Seismicity?
Although it may seem like science fiction, human-made earthquakes have been a reality for decades. It has long been understood that earthquakes can be induced by impoundment of water in reservoirs, surface and underground mining, withdrawal of fluids and gas from the subsurface, and injection of fluids into underground formations.
What is Wastewater Disposal?
Water that is salty or polluted by chemicals needs to be disposed of in a manner that prevents it from contaminating freshwater sources. Often, it is most economical to geologically sequester such wastewaters by injecting them underground, deep below any aquifers that provide drinking water. Continue reading
National Community / Neighborhood Exercise Series
The series of Formidable Footprint exercises for neighborhood, community and faith based organizations continues.
July 27 – Flood / August 31 – Wildfire / September 28 – Tornado
Exercises have also been scheduled for the following scenarios: Earthquake – Hurricane – Pandemic – Solar Storm
The Formidable Footprint exercise series has been developed in accordance with Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) protocols.
The objective of the exercise series is for CERTs, Neighborhood Watch Programs, Neighborhood Associations, Community / Faith Based Organizations, Citizen Corps, Fire Corps and others to work as a team to become better prepared for the next disaster their community may face.
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