The USGS Is Mapping Human-Caused Earthquake Hazards

Posted by Mike Confino, April 26, 2015


Just days after Oklahoma’s government embraced the idea that human actions could, in fact, cause earthquakes, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) released a report outlining how they could potentially map people-induced earthquake hazards.

‘Induced’ or ‘potentially induced’ earthquakes (the terms are used interchangeably in the report) are earthquakes caused by human activities–typically the injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling sites deep into the earth. The water can essentially lubricate faults, causing them to slip. Sudden movement along faults are what generate an earthquake.


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