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Friday, July 12, 2013

Study raises new concerns about earthquakes and wastewater injection

It has long been known that injection of waste water - especially in the high volumes generated from hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas production, but also geothermal powercan cause earthquakes.  Now, seismologists at Columbia University say that major earthquakes half a world away can trigger significant quakes at waste water injection sites.

Researchers have identified three earthquakes - in Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas - that were triggered at injection-well sites by  major earthquakes whose seismic waves rippled thousands of miles across the globe and activated faults that have been previously stressed by the injection of waste water.

This new emphasis on seismic risks from fracking points adds to ever-growing need - and the business case - to drive to alternative, waterless fracking technologies.  

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