Journal of Seismology

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 421–431 | Cite as

Prediction of magnitude of the largest potentially induced seismic event

  • Miroslav Hallo
  • Ivo Oprsal
  • Leo Eisner
  • Mohammed Y. Ali
Original Article


We propose a method for determining the possible magnitude of a potentially largest induced seismic event derived from the Gutenberg–Richter law and an estimate of total released seismic moment. We emphasize that the presented relationship is valid for induced (not triggered) seismicity, as the total seismic moment of triggered seismicity is not bound by the injection. The ratio of the moment released by the largest event and weaker events is determined by the constants a and b of the Gutenberg–Richter law. We show that for a total released seismic moment, it is possible to estimate number of events greater than a given magnitude. We determine the formula for the moment magnitude of a probable largest seismic event with one occurrence within the recurrence interval (given by one volumetric change caused by mining or injecting). Finally, we compare theoretical and measured values of the moment magnitudes of the largest induced seismic events for selected geothermal and hydraulic fracturing projects.


Magnitude Seismic moment b value Induced events Microseismicity Hydraulic fracturing Enhanced geothermal systems 



We are grateful to the Oil-Subcommittee of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and its operating companies (OpCos) for sponsoring the pilot project “Microseismic Feasibility Study”. This study was supported by the Grant Agency of the Czech Republic P210/12/2451. We would like to also thank anonymous reviewers for very valuable advices.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miroslav Hallo
    • 1
  • Ivo Oprsal
    • 1
  • Leo Eisner
    • 2
  • Mohammed Y. Ali
    • 3
  1. 1.Seismik Ltd.Praha 8Czech Republic
  2. 2.Academy of SciencesInstitute of Rock Structure and MechanicsPraha 8Czech Republic
  3. 3.The Petroleum InstituteAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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