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5. Independent capability exists for geomechanical modeling of pore pressure, temperature, and rock stress changes induced by injection and extraction and for modeling of earthquake sequences given knowledge of stress changes, pore pressure changes, and fault characteristics.

6. The range of scales over which significant responses arise in the Earth with respect to induced seismic events is very wide and challenges the ability of models to simulate and eventually predict observations from the field.


1. The basic data on fault locations and properties, in situ stresses, pore pressures, and rock properties are insufficient to implement existing models with accuracy on a site-specific basis.

2. Current predictive models cannot properly quantify or estimate the seismic efficiency and mode of failure; geomechanical deformation can be modeled, but a challenge exists to relate this to number and size of seismic events.

Proposed Actions

The actions proposed to advance understanding of the types and causes of induced seismicity involve research recommendations outlined in Box 7.1. These recommendations also have relevance for specific energy technologies and address gaps in understanding induced seismicity.


Overarching Findings for All Technologies

1. Injection pressures and net fluid volumes in energy technologies, such as geothermal energy and oil and gas production, are generally controlled to avoid increasing pore pressure in the reservoir above the initial reservoir pore pressure. These technologies thus appear less problematic in terms of inducing felt seismic events than technologies that result in a significant net increase or decrease in fluid volume.

2. The basic data needed to fully evaluate the potential for induced seismicity—including fault locations and properties, in situ stresses, fluid pressures, and rock properties—are very difficult and expensive to obtain.

3. Existing regional seismic arrays may not be capable of precisely locating small induced seismic events to determine causality and better establish the characteristics of induced seismicity.

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