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Triggered and Induced Seismicity Technical Interest Group (TIG)

Investigating mechanisms and possible connections between injected produced water and earthquake/seismic activity. Chaired by Jeremy Boak.
Triggered and Induced Seismicity TIG
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Last Post 06 Jul 2018 09:55 AM by  Mollie Kish
Questions from the Public
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Ken Williams
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24 Jan 2018 11:51 AM
    I am a retired petroleum geologist and currently volunteer as a Docent at the local science museum. I keep getting asked by visitors about fracking and earthquakes. "Should I be worried?", "Is my drinking water going to be contaminated?"

    I have some favorite answers to these sorts of questions, but what do y'all think?
    Ken Williams
    Geologist - Retired
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    Susan Nash
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    25 Jan 2018 11:05 AM
    This is a great question. What are your favorites?
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    Kenneth Stalder
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    08 Feb 2018 04:32 PM
    If the company doing the fracking did it right, then it’s safe. If they didn’t put the correct amount of seals above and below the fracking job, then it’s another matter. It seems that most contamination’s I’ve read are from waste water injections that seems to be less regulated.
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    Mollie Kish
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    06 Jul 2018 09:55 AM
    Hi Ken,

    I am currently a petroleum geologist and I also enjoy volunteering and public outreach.

    When I am asked about drinking water, I draw out the geological formations and explain where the groundwater is produced from and where the hydrocarbons are produced from. One thing to emphasize is scale/depth. I also help the public understand about drilling regulations and our industry's safety standards. Another fun source of information can come from local agencies that have public data about water.

    When asked about earthquakes, it is the perfect time to talk about how we measure seismicity and the different types of scales we use. Explaining the logarithmic scale can be a great learning opportunity for adults and kids. This is also a time to talk about background seismicity and plate tectonics. Once an understanding of how we measure seismicity and background seismicity is established, then I refer to any induced seismcity that is published in whatever basin you may be in, and explain the differences between producing hydrocarbons and injecting wastewater.

    -Mollie
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    Susan Nash Director, Innovation and Emerging Science and Technology AAPG