Two-year survey comparing earthquake activity and injection-well locations in the Barnett Shale, Texas

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Cliff Frohlich

Abstract

Between November 2009 and September 2011, temporary seismographs deployed under the EarthScope USArray program were situated on a 70-km grid covering the Barnett Shale in Texas, recording data that allowed sensing and locating regional earthquakes with magnitudes 1.5 and larger. I analyzed these data and located 67 earthquakes, more than eight times as many as reported by the National Earthquake Information Center. All 24 of the most reliably located epicenters occurred in eight groups within 3.2 km of one or more injection wells. These included wells near Dallas-Fort Worth and Cleburne, Texas, where earthquakes near injection wells were reported by the media in 2008 and 2009, as well as wells in six other locations, including several where no earthquakes have been reported previously. This suggests injection-triggered earthquakes are more common than is generally recognized. All the wells nearest to the earthquake groups reported maximum monthly injection rates exceeding 150,000 barrels of water per month (24,000 m(3)/mo) since October 2006. However, while 9 of 27 such wells in Johnson County were near earthquakes, elsewhere no earthquakes occurred near wells with similar injection rates. A plausible hypothesis to explain thes...Continue Reading

Citations

Oct 3, 2012·Environmental Health Perspectives·Bob Weinhold
Jul 13, 2013·Science·William L Ellsworth
Feb 7, 2016·The Science of the Total Environment·Khaled Moustafa
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Feb 18, 2016·Environmental Science & Technology·Mengjun YuAvner Vengosh
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Nov 6, 2013·Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America·Wei Gan, Cliff Frohlich
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