Induced Seismicity

Induced Seismicity: An Accidental Experiment 

The recent increase in earthquakes from waste-water injection has sparked concern and controversy. I have collaborated on projects looking at induced seismicity in Oklahoma (Kernanen et al., 2013), as well as how sensitive areas of induced seismicity are to dynamic shaking (van der Elst et al., 2013). However, induced seismicity has had an unintended, positive effect - as an opportunity for earthquake scientists to study faults and seismicity in a more controlled environment, much as we would in a laboratory.  In my work in induced seismicity, I try explore important new insights on the earthquake rupture process gleaned from well-recorded induced events, as well as how these insights might apply to tectonic earthquakes. Most recently I have done precise relocations of earthquakes in Oklahoma to determine how seismicity in active faults is distributed throughout the fault zone (i.e. on the main slip interface vs. within the damage zone; Savage et al., submitted).