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TitleHydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin
AuthorAtkinson, G M; Eaton, D W; Ghofrani, H; Walker, D; Cheadle, B; Schultz, R; Shcerhbokov, R; Tiampo, K; Gu, J; Harrington, R M; Liu, Y; vander Baan, M; Kao, H
SourceScience vol. 87, (2016), no. 3, 2016 p. 631-647, https://doi.org/10.1785/0220150263
Year2016
Alt SeriesEarth Sciences Sector, Contribution Series 20150177
PublisherAAAS
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
ProvinceBritish Columbia; Alberta
NTS82G/01; 82G/02; 82G/03; 82G/06; 82G/07; 82G/08; 82G/09; 82G/10; 82G/11; 82G/14; 82G/15; 82G/16; 82H; 82I/01; 82I/02; 82I/03; 82I/06; 82I/07; 82I/08; 82I/09; 82I/10; 82I/11; 82I/14; 82I/15; 82I/16; 82N/9; 82N/10; 82N/11; 82N/14; 82N/15; 82N/16; 82O/01; 82O/02; 82O/03; 82O/06; 82O/07; 82O/08; 82O/09; 82O/10; 82O/11; 82O/12; 82O/13; 82O/14; 82O/15; 82O/16; 82P/01; 82P/02; 82P/03; 82P/04; 82P/05; 82P/06; 82P/07; 82P/08; 83B; 83C/01; 83C/02; 83C/03; 83C/06; 83C/07; 83C/08; 83C/09; 83C/10; 83C/11; 83C/14; 83C/15; 83C/16; 83E/09; 83E/10; 83E/11; 83E/12; 83E/13; 83E/14; 83E/15; 83E/16; 83F/01; 83F/02; 83F/03; 83F/06; 83F/07; 83F/08; 83F/09; 83F/10; 83F/11; 83F/12; 83F/13; 83F/14; 83F/15; 83F/16; 83G; 83J; 83K; 83L; 83M; 83N; 84C; 84D; 84E; 84F; 84K; 84L; 84M; 84N; 93O; 93P; 94A; 94B; 94G; 94H; 94I; 94J; 94O; 94P
Lat/Long WENS-115.5000 -112.0000 51.5000 49.0000
Lat/Long WENS-124.0000 -114.0000 60.0000 51.5000
Subjectsengineering geology; fossil fuels; geophysics; hydraulic fracturing; fracturing; seismic risk; earthquake risk; earthquake damage; earthquake magnitudes
Illustrationsseismic maps; graphs; charts; schematic diagram; tables
ProgramShale Gas - seismicity, Environmental Geoscience
AbstractWe investigate the roles that hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal play in triggering earthquakes in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. The development of unconventional resources in North America relies upon massive subsurface injection of fluids, which can induce earthquake activity by activating slip on a nearby fault. In the case of oil and gas operations within the central U.S., most evidence points toward large-scale disposal of wastewater, typically brine that is co-produced with hydrocarbon, as the primary triggering mechanism of fluid-induced seismicity. In western Canada, by contrast, we find that most of the recent increase in seismicity is linked to hydraulic fracturing, wherein fluids are injected under high pressure during well completion to induce localized fracturing of a rock formation. Moreover, a postulated relationship between maximum magnitude and net volume of injected fluid significantly underestimates the maximum observed magnitude of recent events triggered by hydraulic fracturing in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
We investigate the roles that hydraulic fracturing and wastewater disposal play in triggering earthquakes in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin. The development of unconventional resources in North America relies upon massive subsurface injection of fluids, which can induce earthquake activity by activating slip on a nearby fault. In the case of oil and gas operations within the central U.S., most evidence points toward large-scale disposal of wastewater, typically brine that is co-produced with hydrocarbon, as the primary triggering mechanism of fluid-induced seismicity. In western Canada, by contrast, we find that most of the recent increase in seismicity is linked to hydraulic fracturing, wherein fluids are injected under high pressure during well completion to induce localized fracturing of a rock formation. Moreover, a postulated relationship between maximum magnitude and net volume of injected fluid significantly underestimates the maximum observed magnitude of recent events triggered by hydraulic fracturing in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.
GEOSCAN ID296872