USGS Releases Map of Regions Experiencing Human-induced Earthquakes, mostly sparked by Oil and Gas Activity

Incorporating Induced Seismicity in the 2014 United States National Seismic Hazard Model—Results of 2014 Workshop and Sensitivity Studies
US Geological Survey / by Mark D. Petersen, et al.

[New York Times]  In its first comprehensive assessment of earthquakes believed to be caused by human activity, the United States Geological Survey released a map on Thursday identifying 17 regions with significant levels of seismic movement triggered mostly from oil and gas operations.

By far the hardest-hit state, the report says, is Oklahoma, where earthquakes are hundreds of times more common than they were until a few years ago…

The report represents a step toward trying to quantify the risk from human-caused earthquakes. The agency’s earthquake risk assessments are used to determine building codes and insurance rates, but estimating the risk from induced earthquakes is much harder, Mr. Peterson said, because “they fluctuate year by year, based on economic and policy decisions, which are very difficult to predict.”

In fact the report shows that in places where wastewater injection declined, so did the earthquakes, notably in an area of Central Arkansas…

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