Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

StateImpact’s Earthquake Research Reading List


Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Scientists say oil and gas activity is likely responsible for much of the earthquake activity that has surged in Oklahoma since 2009.

Seismologists, regulators, lawmakers, oil industry experts and everyday Oklahomans trying to understand the earthquake phenomenon — known as “induced seismicity” — face two seemingly contradictory observations: Oklahoma has a long history of oil and gas production, and the recent period of increased earthquake activity is comparatively short.

Oklahoma’s earthquake uptick is the central focus of a growing number of scientific papers, and researchers say a better understanding of the quakes and their links to disposal wells is key to identifying and managing suspected oil and gas-related quakes in other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Ohio and Texas.

Researchers are also curious why induced earthquakes don’t appear to be plaguing other major oil and gas states, like North Dakota.

If you want to take a deep dive into the science linking Oklahoma’s earthquakes to oil and gas activity, we’ve compiled a reading list of peer-reviewed papers published in scientific journals.

Below you’ll find our reading guide, which includes the name, date and publication source — and an excerpt from the abstract. You can follow the link to read more, but it’s important to note that access to the full text of many of the papers requires a purchase or subscription to the publication.

We’ll update this list as new research is published.

Updated: 08/21/2017

08/02/2017 Stress drops of induced and tectonic earthquakes in the central United States are indistinguishable Science Advances
08/02/2017 Comment on “How will induced seismicity in Oklahoma respond to decreased saltwater injection rates?” Science Advances
05/03/2017 Induced Seismicity in Oklahoma Affects Shallow Groundwater Seismological Research Letters
05/03/2017 Geodetic Slip Model of the 3 September 2016 Mw 5.8 Pawnee, Oklahoma, Earthquake: Evidence for Fault‐Zone Collapse Seismological Research Letters
04/20/2017 Bayesian identification of multiple seismic change points and varying seismic rates caused by induced seismicity Geophysical Research Letters
01/12/2017 Geologic influence on induced seismicity: Constraints from potential field data in Oklahoma Geophysical Research Letters
11/30/2016 How will induced seismicity in Oklahoma respond to decreased saltwater injection rates? Science Advances
10/12/2016 Probabilistic assessment of potential fault slip related to injection-induced earthquakes: Application to north-central Oklahoma, USA Geology
08/31/2016 Seismic‐Hazard Forecast for 2016 Including Induced and Natural Earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States Seismological Research Letters
06/30/2016 Induced earthquake magnitudes are as large as (statistically) expected Solid Earth
12/16/2015 The Petroleum Geologist and the Insurance Policy Seismological Research Letters
10/23/2015 Reactivated faulting near Cushing, Oklahoma: Increased potential for a triggered earthquake in an area of United States strategic infrastructure Geophysical Research Letters
10/19/2015 A Century of Induced Earthquakes in Oklahoma? Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
10/01/2015 Statistical Method for Early Detection of Changes in Seismic Rate Associated with Wastewater Injections Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
07/22/2015 Hundreds of Earthquakes per Day: The 2014 Guthrie, Oklahoma, Earthquake Sequence Seismological Research Letters
06/19/2015 Oklahoma’s recent earthquakes and saltwater disposal Science Advances
06/19/2015 High-rate injection is associated with the increase in U.S. mid-continent seismicity Science
06/10/2015 Myths and Facts on Wastewater Injection, Hydraulic Fracturing, Enhanced Oil Recovery, and Induced Seismicity Seismological Research Letters
06/02/2015 Increasing seismicity in the U. S. midcontinent: Implications for earthquake hazard The Leading Edge
06/02/2015 Efforts to monitor and characterize the recent increasing seismicity in central Oklahoma The Leading Edge
06/02/2015 A comparison of seismicity rates and fluid-injection operations in Oklahoma and California: Implications for crustal stresses The Leading Edge
06/02/2015 Shaking intensity from injection-induced versus tectonic earthquakes in the central-eastern United States The Leading Edge
02/20/2015 Coping with earthquakes induced by fluid injection Science
10/01/2014 Shaking from Injection‐Induced Earthquakes in the Central and Eastern United States Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
07/03/2014 Sharp increase in central Oklahoma seismicity since 2008 induced by massive wastewater injection Science
05/01/2014 Surface Microseismic Monitoring of Hydraulic Fracturing of a Shale‐Gas Reservoir Using Short‐Period and Broadband Seismic Sensors Seismological Research Letters
03/07/2014 Observations of static Coulomb stress triggering of the November 2011 M5.7 Oklahoma earthquake sequence Solid Earth
02/04/2014 Maximum magnitude earthquakes induced by fluid injection Solid Earth
10/01/2013 Modeling Earthquake Rate Changes in Oklahoma and Arkansas: Possible Signatures of Induced Seismicity Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
08/01/2013 Induced seismicity and hydraulic fracturing for the recovery of hydrocarbons Marine and Petroleum Geology
07/12/2013 Injection-Induced Earthquakes Science
07/12/2013 Enhanced Remote Earthquake Triggering at Fluid-Injection Sites in the Midwestern United States Science
06/07/2013 Hydrogeologic Controls on Induced Seismicity in Crystalline Basement Rocks Due to Fluid Injection into Basal Reservoirs Groundwater
06/01/2013 Earthquakes triggered by hydraulic fracturing in south‐central Oklahoma Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America
03/26/2013 Potentially induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA: Links between wastewater injection and the 2011 Mw 5.7 earthquake sequence Geology

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