Research & Education Foundation Releases White Paper on Induced Seismicity by Underground Injection

GWREF logo

OKLAHOMA CITY, Nov. 8, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The topic of induced seismicity, or earthquakes caused by human activities, and in particular seismicity associated with hydraulic fracturing and disposal wells, has been the source of heightened interest and controversy over the past several years. To help disseminate factual information on the subject, the Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) and its research arm, the Ground Water Research and Education Foundation (GWREF), decided to include sessions on induced seismicity in two of the organization's 2013 conferences.

GWPC held its 2013 Underground Injection Control Conference in Sarasota, Florida on January 22-24, 2013. On January 23, the conference included a special session entitled "Assessing & Managing Risk of Induced Seismicity by Underground Injection".

GWPC held its 2013 Annual Forum in St. Louis, Missouri on September 23-25, 2013. Building on the success of the induced seismicity session in January, the conference included a special half-day session on September 23 entitled "Assessing & Managing Risk of Induced Seismicity by Underground Injection".

A white paper summarizing the presentations and discussions that were part of the induced seismicity sessions was prepared following both the January meeting and the September Forum. Both white papers can be found at The first white paper has been available since last winter. The second white paper is available as of today and lists eight of the major issues and findings discussed during the special session. Among the findings:

  • While many of the seismic events are naturally occurring, some can be triggered by human activities, often from injection of fluids.
  • Agencies and industry groups are working together to find ways to reduce the risk of induced seismicity by injection.
  • Most state regulatory agencies do not have regulations that focus specifically on induced seismicity. However, a few states have recently developed regulations following earthquakes associated with disposal wells and while other states are developing best practices.

GWPC and GWREF are aware that since the Forum was held in September, various earthquakes have been observed in Oklahoma and elsewhere. Some of these may be linked to disposal wells. The white papers are intended to provide an overview of the topics covered and opinions expressed during the sessions – they are not intended to be exhaustive references on induced seismicity or to cover events that were not discussed during the sessions.

About the GWREF: The Ground Water Research & Education Foundation is an arm of the Ground Water Protection Council and provides a forum for stakeholder communication and research in order to improve governments' role in the protection and conservation of groundwater.

CONTACT: Ben Grunewald Ground Water Research & Education Foundation (405) 516-4972

Source:Ground Water Protection Council(Oklahoma)