Univ. of Western Ontario
[Phys.org] A new database showcasing hundreds of examples of human-triggered earthquakes should shake up policy-makers, regulators and industry executives looking to mitigate these unacceptable hazards caused by our own actions, according to a Western Earth Sciences professor.
“Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey are now raising the possibility many of the large, well-known earthquakes in California that happened over the 1930s-50s – like the Long Beach Earthquake (in 1933) or the Kern County Earthquake (in 1952), which was a magnitude of 7.5 – may have been induced by oil-production in southern California at the time,” she explained.
Atkinson’s research group is studying this phenomenon of human-triggered earthquakes – or, induced seismicity – in western Canada, with a particular focus in Alberta. Her team has found evidence showing a significant increase in the number of earthquakes in the last five years or so in the active region. More than half of those appear to be related to hydraulic fracturing.
These findings are included in the new Human-Induced Earthquake Database – or HiQuake – which contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes) that may have been set off by humans over the past 149 years…