Research ArticleSeismology

How will induced seismicity in Oklahoma respond to decreased saltwater injection rates?

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Science Advances  30 Nov 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 11, e1601542
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601542


In response to the marked number of injection-induced earthquakes in north-central Oklahoma, regulators recently called for a 40% reduction in the volume of saltwater being injected in the seismically active areas. We present a calibrated statistical model that predicts that widely felt M ≥ 3 earthquakes in the affected areas, as well as the probability of potentially damaging larger events, should significantly decrease by the end of 2016 and approach historic levels within a few years. Aftershock sequences associated with relatively large magnitude earthquakes that occurred in the Fairview, Cherokee, and Pawnee areas in north-central Oklahoma in late 2015 and 2016 will delay the rate of seismicity decrease in those areas.

  • Earthquake forecasting
  • induced seismicity
  • saltwater injection
  • seismic hazard

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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