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Injection wells can induce earthquakes miles away from the well

A study of earthquakes induced by injecting fluids deep underground has revealed surprising patterns, suggesting that current recommendations for hydraulic fracturing, wastewater disposal, and geothermal wells may need to be revised.  Researchers at UC Santa Cruz compiled and analyzed data from around the world for earthquakes clearly associated with injection wells. They found that a single injection well can cause earthquakes at distances more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) from the well. They also found that, in general, injecting fluids into sedimentary rock can cause larger, more distant earthquakes than injecting into the underlying basement rock.  Read more...

 

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