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TitleEnhancing seismic monitoring capability for hydraulic fracturing induced seismicity in Canada
AuthorKao, HORCID logo; Cassidy, J FORCID logo; Farahbod, A; Lamontagne, MORCID logo
SourceAGU 2012 Fall Meeting, abstract; 2012 p. 1
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20120175
MeetingAGU 2012 Fall Meeting; San Francisco; US; December 3-7, 2012
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsfossil fuels; geophysics; shales; hydrocarbons; hydrocarbon recovery; gas; earthquakes; earthquake risk; earthquake studies; seismicity; seismographs; seismological network
ProgramEnvironmental Geoscience
Released2012 01 01
AbstractThe amount of natural gas produced from unconventional sources, such as the shale gas, has increased dramatically since the last decade. One of the key factors in the success of shale gas production is the application of hydraulic fracturing (also known as "fracking") to facilitate the efficient recovery of natural gas from shale matrices. As the fracking operation becomes routine in all major shale gas fields, its potential to induce local earthquakes at some locations has become a public concern. To address this concern, Natural Resources Canada has initiated a research effort to investigate the potential links between fracking operations and induced seismicity in some major shale gas basins of Canada. This federal-provincial collaborative research aims to assess if shale gas fracking can alter regional pattern of background seismicity and if so, what the relationship between how fracking is conducted and the maximum magnitude of induced seismicity would be. Other objectives include the investigation of the time scale of the interaction between fracking events and induced seismicity and the evaluation of induced seismicity potential for shale gas basins under different tectonic/geological conditions. The first phase of this research is to enhance the detection and monitoring capability for seismicity possibly related to shale gas recovery in Canada. Densification of the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) is currently underway in northeast British Columbia where fracking operations are taking place. Additional seismic stations are planned for major shale gas basins in other regions where fracking might be likely in the future. All newly established CNSN stations are equipped with broadband seismographs with real-time continuous data transmission. The design goal of the enhanced seismic network is to significantly lower the detection threshold such that the anticipated low-magnitude earthquakes that might be related to fracking operations can be identified and located shortly after their occurrence.

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