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.
|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||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|