Geosciences Journal

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 137–148 | Cite as

Induced seismicity: the potential hazard from shale gas development and CO2 geologic storage



We present an overview of the current status of unconventional energy development, particularly of shale gas, and underground CO2 storage as a measure to mitigate greenhouse gas increase in the atmosphere. We review their potential to induce seismicity, which has caused debates among related energy enterprises, engineers, researchers, and environmental and public communities regarding their potential hazards. Studies show that fracking can be a problem in that it consumes abundant water, but the seismicity induced by fracking has not yet been observed to induce many felt earthquakes. However, massive wastewater injection, a part of the unconventional energy development process has caused M5.0+ earthquakes in the past as well as several recent and ongoing cases of induced seismicity. Large-scale CO2 injection as a part of carbon sequestration efforts in the near future has a high risk of inducing large earthquakes. Therefore, injection operations related to both unconventional energy development and carbon sequestration should be optimized and managed to mitigate the likelihood of an induced seismic event.


induced seismicity shale gas hydraulic fracturing wastewater injection carbon capture and storage CO2 injection 


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Copyright information

© The Association of Korean Geoscience Societies and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyKangwon National UniversityChuncheonRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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