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BOX 7.1
Research Recommendations

Data Collection—Field and Laboratory

1. Collect, categorize, and evaluate data on potential induced seismic events in the field. High-quality seismic data are central to this effort. Research should identify the key types of data to be collected and data collection protocol.

2. Conduct research to establish the means of making in situ stress measurements nondestructively.

3. Conduct additional field research on microseisms in natural fracture systems including field-scale observations of the very small events and their native fractures.

4. Conduct focused research on the effect of temperature variations on stressed jointed rock systems. Although of immediate relevance to geothermal energy projects, the results would benefit understanding of induced seismicity in other energy technologies.

5. Conduct research that might clarify the in situ links among injection rate, pressure, and event size.


1. Conduct research to address the gaps in current knowledge and availability of instrumentation: Such research would allow the geothermal industry, for example, to develop this domestic renewable source more effectively for electricity generation.

Hazard and Risk Assessment

1. Direct research to develop steps for hazard and risk assessment for single energy development projects (as described in Chapter 5, Table 5.2).



1. The basic mechanisms that can induce seismicity related to energy-related injection and extraction activities are not mysterious and are presently well understood.

2. Only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activities among the hundreds of thousands of energy development wells in the United States have induced seismicity at levels that are noticeable to the public.

3. Current models employed to understand the predictability of the size and location of earthquakes through time in response to net fluid injection or withdrawal

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