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TitleMonitoring the earthquake activity in New Brunswick to help define the level of background activity and its source characteristics
AuthorLamontagne, M; Lavoie, D; Ma, S; Burke, K B S
SourceNew Brunswick Exploration, Mining and Petroleum conference program and abstracts volume; 2014 p. 62
LinksOnline - En ligne
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20140203
Publishertment of Mines and Energy New Brunswick
MeetingNew Brunswick Exploration, Mining and Petroleum Conference 2014; Fredericton; CA; November 2-4, 2014
Mediaon-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceNew Brunswick
NTS21G; 21H; 21I; 21J; 21O; 21P
AreaCentral Highlands; Passamaquoddy Bay; Moncton
Lat/Long WENS -68.0000 -64.0000 48.0000 45.0000
Subjectsgeophysics; fossil fuels; earthquakes; earthquake magnitudes; seismic risk; earthquake risk; shales; gas; seismographs; Sussex Basin
ProgramShale Gas - seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
AbstractShale gas projects at the Geological Survey of Canada are part of two research programs: Geoscience for New Energy Supply (resource evaluation and characterization) and Environmental Geoscience (groundwater and induced seismicity). Research activities are directly in line with the May 2014 recommendations for geological investigations put for ward in the Canadian Council of Academies' report of potential environmental impacts of shale gas development. In New Brunswick, one project completed in March 2014 presented a synthesis of available geological and hydrogeological data for sedimentary basi ns as well as a study of groundwater over the McCully gas field. A second project, initiated in 2012 aims at defining the regional natural seismicity of the Moncton and Sussex sub - basins of southern New - Brunswick prior to an eventual full - scale hydraulic f racturing program in this area. New Brunswick has a low level of naturally occurring, small magnitude earthquakes. Prior to 1980, however, five events had magnitudes estimated in the Nuttli magnitude (mN ) 5.4 - 6.0 range; two in the Central Highlands, two in Passamaquoddy Bay region and one near Moncton (1855; magnitude 5.4). The latter was strong enough to cause some chimney and road damage. Since 1980, the earthquake activity has been routinely monitored by the Canadian National Seismograph Network (CNSN) . This network provides earthquake location completeness slightly better than magnitude (mN) 2.0. Three earthquakes with magnitudes in the 5 to 6 range were recorded in the Central Highlands in 1982. To better monitor the Sussex Basin area, five additiona l seismographs with broadband sensors were installed (one in 2012 and four in 2013) to complement the CNSN. The area is currently monitored by a dense six - station seismograph network that can provide the background seismicity level and allows for the calcu lation of focal depths. Since 2010, only one seismic event in the Sussex Basin was recorded but the long period between its occurrence and hydraulic fracturing at McCully field (almost two years) makes a connection unlikely. A study is currently underway t o define the depth distribution of earthquakes in SE NB using conversional and regional depth phase modeling (rdpm) methods.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
The invited presentation will discuss our current knowledge of natural seismic activity in southern New Brunswick based on historical data and current monitoring through our new dense array. This research will provide baseline information prior to shale gas fracking activity.