RISC Member Activities

Background, Value and Recent Activities (since 7/1/19)

For the last three years, RISC has helped integrate and communicate research on fluid injection induced seismicity being conducted by state geological surveys and others. An integrated research approach is needed for the southern midcontinent of the United States, given the importance of fossil energy exploration and production in this region to the Nation and local state economies, and given the potential risk of fluid-induced earthquake activity on these activities and the industry. RISC is the only multistate, regional program designed to communicate and broaden geologic knowledge and interpretation on issues in this technical area. State geological surveys have a unique role in conducting applied research and scientific investigations and communicating findings to the public and their respective regulator communities. RISC helps to fill this role.

Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin

Over the past three years, RISC has been involved in several activities directly related to communicating and integrating research. Besides the large number of presentations made by RISC members, RISC has also organized a highly successful webinar series that routinely brings ~90-100 connections and 100+ attendees to each presentation. The presenters have been from multiple institutions (see the list below) and have discussed a variety of induced seismicity related topics using a common-language style that can be understood by scientists, regulators, and the general public, all of whom attend. We currently have over 250 people on our email list. All presentations are post-processed into a professional-style format, and posted online with the slide deck available for any visitors to download. All of these activities were developed through discussions with RISC members who felt that new styles of communication, beyond those of traditional talks and journal articles. Were needed. We have received numerous positive comments about the quality of the speakers, their style of communicating, and the importance of the information.

Rollup of RISC Webinar Series (through end of fiscal year 2020)

  • August 29, 2019, “Earthquake Hazard Characterization of the Fort Worth Basin,” Dr. Peter H. Hennings, Bureau of Economic Geology
  • October 10, 2019, "The Past and Future Seismic Hazard in Oklahoma," Jacob Walter, PhD, State Seismologist, Oklahoma Geological Survey
  • December 3, 2019, "Summary of Induced Seismicity in Alberta, History of Incidences and Regulatory Responses," Todd Shipman, PhD – Senior Advisor, Induced Seismicity and Geohazards, Alberta Geological Survey, Alberta Energy Regulator
  • February 13, 2020, "Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment for Induced Seismicity," Ellen M. Rathje, PhD, Janet S. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering, Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering and Senior Research Scientist - Bureau of Economic Geology, The University of Texas at Austin
  • April 22, 2020, "Communicating Earthquake Hazards: Lessons from Earthquake Alerting," Elizabeth S. Cochran, PhD, U.S. Geological Survey
  • June 18, 2020, “Summary and Lessons from the North Texas Earthquake Study, 2013-2020,” Heather DeShon, Southern Methodist University, Pending
  • August 4, 2020, “Induced Seismicity at the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project: Lessons for moving monitoring from Site-Scale to Large Scale CCS,” Sherilyn Williams-Stroud, Illinois State Geological Survey, Pending

Oklahoma Geological Survey, University of Oklahoma

RISC funding for the Oklahoma Geological Survey (OGS) primarily funds opportunities for outreach, in the form of publications aimed at the general public, presentations are scholarly and other public meetings, many with a wide variety of attendees, and peer reviewed journal articles. We have arranged the contributions according to RISC member, and then by type of contribution.

Kyle Murray

Abstracts and Publications Related to RISC

  • Murray, K.E. 2019. Decadal Profile of Oilfield Fluid Production and Injection in the STACK, Oklahoma. Oklahoma Geology Notes v. 78, no. 4, 8 pp.
  • Scanlon, B.R., Weingarten, M.B., Murray, K.E., and Reedy, R.C., 2019, Managing Basin-Scale Fluid Budgets to Reduce Injection-Induced Seismicity from the Recent U.S. Shale Oil Revolution, Seismological Research Letters, v. 90, no. 1, p. 171-182. http://dx.doi.org/10.1785/0220180223
  • Murray, K.E. 2020. Hindsight in 2020: A Decade of Seismicity versus HF, SWD, EORI, and CO2 Injection in Oklahoma. for Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) Underground Injection Control (UIC) conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Murray, K.E. 2019. Fluid Management Practices and Relationships to Seismicity in Geological Provinces of the Mid-Continent. for Ground Water Protection Council (GWPC) Underground Injection Control (UIC) conference, Ft Worth, TX.

Presentations Related to RISC

  • Dec 12, 2019 Oklahoma City, OK, American Business Conferences: 2nd Annual SCOOP & STACK Upstream & Midstream Water Management Congress – Invited Lecture titled Mitigating Induced Seismicity, and Managing the Risks of Induced Seismicity.
  • Nov 14, 2019 Tulsa, OK, Osage Oil & Gas Summit – Invited Lecture titled Decadal Profile of Oilfield Fluid Production and Injection in the STACK, Oklahoma.
  • Oct 30, 2019 Denver, CO, American Business Conferences: Tight Oil Water Management Rocky Mountains – Invited Lecture titled Managing Risks of Seismicity on Water Management Costs.
  • Oct 29, 2019 Denver, CO, American Business Conferences: Tight Oil Water Management Rocky Mountains – Invited Lecture titled Future Policies & Regulatory Frameworks on Water Sourcing, Deep Well Disposal and Managing Induced Seismicity.
  • Aug 29, 2019 Oklahoma City, OK, Oklahoma Water Resources Board (OWRB) Produced Water Working Group Meeting – Invited Lecture titled Updates on: Statewide Seismicity, Fluid Volumes in STACK, and Intro to “Water Quality Data” Project.
  • Jul 30, 2019 Houston, TX, American Business Conferences: Permian Basin Completions Optimization & Interwell Communication 2019 – Invited Lecture titled Understanding Strategies to Manage Produced Water Volumes from Sourcing to Disposal to Drive Completion Efficiency.
  • Jul 17, 2019 Houston, TX, American Business Conferences: Produced Water Management Recycling, Re-Use, and Disposal Permian Basin – Invited Lecture titled Technical Data and Seismic Research to Identify the Long Term Environmental Impact of Water Usage and Disposal.
  • Jul 16, 2019 Houston, TX, American Business Conferences: Produced Water Management Recycling, Re-Use, and Disposal Permian Basin – Invited Lecture titled Recycling, Re-Using and Disposal of Produced Water Panel: Evaluating the State of Water Management.

Jake Walter

  • November 2019, AAPG Midcontinent, presented invited talk: Elevated Potential for Damaging Earthquakes Across the Mid-Continent
  • November 2019, SPE/SEG conference on Induced Seismicity, Dallas, TX, presented invited talk: Induced Earthquake Causation in a Realm of Overlapping Mitigation Zones

Paul Ogwari

Dr. Ogwari began 20% support under the RISC subaward to OU in mid-2020, and is researching earthquakes with very short recurrence times in Oklahoma, also called double or twin events. These earthquakes appear to most frequently occur near hydraulic fracturing operations. The findings will be useful to the entire RISC group and we will share our findings with the members and general public. Over the last few years, the RISC subaward has supported conference travel to several regional conferences to present to mixed audiences of academic and industry scientists.

  • December 2019, AGU Meeting, December 2019, San Francisco, CA, presented poster: Ground motion analysis of hydraulic-fracture triggered earthquakes in Oklahoma
  • November 2019, SPE/SEG conference on Induced Seismicity, Dallas, TX, attended and participated in discussions

Arkansas Geological Survey

The Arkansas Geological Survey maintains an earthquake catalog for Arkansas. As of 6/15/2020, Arkansas’ catalog include 23 felt earthquakes. Of particular note is recent seismic activity in the vicinity of El Dorado, Arkansas. A magnitude (M) 2.8 occurred approximately eight miles southeast of El Dorado, AR. This event is in close proximity to a M2.8 that occurred on February 24, 2020. At the present time, there is insufficient data to determine whether this activity was natural or induced. The El Dorado seismic station cell modem went off line just before the event. The AGS has communicated with CERI, who will review the event again and provide the AGS with their confidence level in the location and depth of the earthquake. The El Dorado area has experienced periodic episodes of seismic activity in the past including an estimated M4.0+ in the 1930’s and a M3.0 in 2007. Some activity (EQ cluster in the 1980’s) was linked to SWD injection by Cox (1991). The other earthquakes may or may not have been related to human activity.

On November 6, 2019, the Arkansas Geological Survey hosted a paleoseismology field trip near Marianna, Arkansas. Field trip leaders included Drs. Martitia Tuttle and Haydar Al-Shukri. Approximately 50 participants (university students, emergency management, state geological surveys), from an 8- state area attended the event. The field trip was sponsored by State Farm Insurance, RISC, and the USGS. Two documentaries (in progress) are being prepared, in addition to field manuals, as a part of the deliverables.

Through RISC funding, the Arkansas Geological Survey staff was able to participate in the Groundwater Protection Council Meeting (RISC planning) in San Antonio in February and National Earthquake Conference (breakout session focused on induced seismicity) held in San Diego, CA in March, 2020.

New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, New Mexico Tech

RISC funds have supported Dr. Mairi Litherland at the New Mexico Tech Seismological Observatory in many ways, from facilitating travel to technical meetings, to providing funds for directly collaborating with other RISC partners, in particular the Bureau of Economic Geology at UT Austin.  Activities include:

  • Collaboration with TexNet to install three broadband seismometers in the New Mexico portion of Delaware Basin.
  • January 2019, Presented at RISC all-hands meeting in Austin, TX
  • September 2019, attended GWPC Annual Forum and presented about induced seismicity in New Mexico
  • June 2019, Presented at RISC webinar about induced seismicity in New Mexico
  • December 2019, Traveled to Texas BEG to collaborate with TexNet personnel on earthquake management software and operations, thereby improving NMTSO operations.
  • December 2019, Presented “Seismic Activity in Southeastern New Mexico” at BEG weekly seminar.
  • Proposal submitted to USGS in collaboration with Dino Huang at BEG/UT Austin to further study induced seismicity in Delaware Basin
  • Funded Master’s student to perform preliminary work studying catalog of seismicity in Delaware Basin that will be used as a base for proposed USGS study.

Kansas Geological Survey, University of Kansas

Rex Buchanan

  • February 2020, Rex Buchanan attended and participated in the UIC Conference sponsored by the Groundwater Protection Council in San Antonio.
  • KGS is collaborating with GWPC, and the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, on its update of the primer on induced seismicity associated with fluid injection. The updating process is ongoing, with an updated primer, aimed primarily at the regulatory community, expected to be available this fall.