Cover Image


View/Hide Left Panel

people and structures. For example, if a particular project is observed to generate M ≥ 2 earthquakes (i.e., the probability in cell 1A becomes 1 for that project), decisions can be made on pumping characteristics to minimize the probabilities of shaking felt at the surface (cell 2A) and of strong shaking (cell 3A).

Third, the calculated probabilities of shaking felt at the surface (cell 2A), of strong shaking (cell 3A), and of structures and people being affected (cell 4A) can be generalized from those for one project (as depicted in Table 5.2) to forecast the total number of induced seismicity cases that will occur and the number of structures and people affected. If detailed statistical data can be obtained for cells 1B and 2B, this generalization can account for details on forecast locations of projects, volumes and other characteristics of pumping, and proximity to inhabited areas. The estimated numbers of people and structures affected can then become the basis for decisions on whether and how to minimize the impacts of induced seismicity.

Directed research could support development of these steps for the quantification of hazard and risk, with the overall goal of integrating these steps to improve our capability to predict induced events and their consequences. Chapter 6 develops these ideas further by discussing best practices and protocols to avoid or mitigate the impacts of induced seismicity during energy development projects.


BGS (British Geological Survey). 2011. Blackpool earthquake, Magnitude 1.5, 27 May 2011. Available at (accessed November 2011).

Boore, D.M. 2003. Simulation of ground motion using the stochastic method. Pure and Applied Geophysics 160:635-676.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement