The National Academies Press

Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies
View larger
  • Status: Final Book
  • Downloads: 8,189
Purchase Options
Purchase Options MyNAP members save 10% online. Login or Register



In the past several years, some energy technologies that inject or extract fluid from the Earth, such as oil and gas development and geothermal energy development, have been found or suspected to cause seismic events, drawing heightened public attention.

Although only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development sites in the United States have induced seismicity at levels noticeable to the public, understanding the potential for inducing felt seismic events and for limiting their occurrence and impacts is desirable for state and federal agencies, industry, and the public at large. To better understand, limit, and respond to induced seismic events, work is needed to build robust prediction models, to assess potential hazards, and to help relevant agencies coordinate to address them.

Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies identifies gaps in knowledge and research needed to advance the understanding of induced seismicity; identify gaps in induced seismic hazard assessment methodologies and the research to close those gaps; and assess options for steps toward best practices with regard to energy development and induced seismicity potential.


Publication Info

262 pages | 7 x 10
ISBN: 978-0-309-25367-3

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xiv
Executive Summary 1-4
Summary 5-22
1 Induced Seismicity and Energy Technologies 23-36
2 Types and Causes of Induced Seismicity 37-58
3 Energy Technologies: How They Work and Their Induced Seismicity Potential 59-116
4 Governmental Roles and Responsibilities Related to Underground Injection and Induced Seismicity 117-138
5 Paths Forward to Understanding and Managing Induced Seismicity in Energy Technology Development 139-150
6 Steps Toward a "Best Practices" Protocol 151-164
7 Addressing Induced Seismicity: Findings, Conclusions, Research, and Proposed Actions 165-178
Appendixes 179-180
Appendix A: Committee and Staff Biographies 181-186
Appendix B: Meeting Agendas 187-194
Appendix C: Observations of Induced Seismicity 195-206
Appendix D: Letters between Senator Bingaman and Secretary Chu 207-210
Appendix E: Earthquake Size Estimates and Negative Earthquake Magnitudes 211-216
Appendix F: The Failure of the Baldwin Hills Reservoir Dam 217-218
Appendix G: Seismic Event Due to Fluid Injection or Withdrawal 219-224
Appendix H: Pore Pressure Induced by Fluid Injection 225-228
Appendix I: Hydraulic Fracture Microseismic Monitoring 229-232
Appendix J: Hydraulic Fracturing in Eola Field, Garvin County, Oklahoma, and Potential Link to Induced Seismicity 233-238
Appendix K: Paradox Valley Unit Saltwater Injection Project 239-242
Appendix L: Estimated Injected Fluid Volumes 243-246
Appendix M: Additional Acknowledgments 247-248




Energy Technologies and Manmade Earthquakes: What's the Connection?

About 60% of the energy consumed in the United States come from fluids pumped from the ground. Activities related to producing this energy, including conventional oil and gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing, geothermal energy production, and underground injection of wastewater, have been linked to a small number manmade earthquakes. This video, based on the NRC report, examines the scientific basis for manmade seismic activity and discusses practices that can help reduce risks.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.

Import this citation to:

Reference Finder

Find relevant information like your own rough draft from among the thousands of reports available for free at ​Copy and paste up to 8 pages of content—whether from your own draft or an outside article—and Reference Finder will recommend NAP publications related to your text.

View Reference Finder


Copyright Information

The National Academies Press (NAP) has partnered with Copyright Clearance Center's Rightslink service to offer you a variety of options for reusing NAP content. Through Rightslink, you may request permission to reprint NAP content in another publication, course pack, secure website, or other media. Rightslink allows you to instantly obtain permission, pay related fees, and print a license directly from the NAP website. The complete terms and conditions of your reuse license can be found in the license agreement that will be made available to you during the online order process. To request permission through Rightslink you are required to create an account by filling out a simple online form. The following list describes license reuses offered by the National Academies Press (NAP) through Rightslink:

  • Republish text, tables, figures, or images in print
  • Post on a secure Intranet/Extranet website
  • Use in a PowerPoint Presentation
  • Distribute via CD-ROM
  • Photocopy

Click here to obtain permission for the above reuses. If you have questions or comments concerning the Rightslink service, please contact:

Rightslink Customer Care
Tel (toll free): 877/622-5543
Tel: 978/777-9929

To request permission to distribute a PDF, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800-624-6242 for pricing.

To request permission to translate a book published by the National Academies Press or its imprint, the Joseph Henry Press, please click here to view more information.


Loading stats for Induced Seismicity Potential in Energy Technologies...