An Overview of Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Earthquakes in Alberta

Ryan Schultz

Stanford University

Date & Time
Yosemite Conference Room, Building 19, Moffett Field
Robert Skoumal

In the past handful of years, significant strides have been made to better understand the seismotectonic setting of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin in Alberta. In this talk, I summarize these understandings. First, increased monitoring efforts in Alberta begins in 2006, when the Canadian Rockies and Alberta Network (CRANE) was first deployed and then bolstered by the Regional Alberta Observatory for Earthquake Studies Network (RAVEN). It was through this enhanced monitoring that some of the first cases of induced seismicity were recognized in Alberta: the Rocky Mountain House Seismogenic Zone, Brazeau River Cluster, Cardston Earthquake Swarm, the events near Fox Creek, and the events near Red Deer. In this talk we focus in on the events related to hydraulic fracturing of the Duvernay Formation. We discuss a seismological overview of the phenomenon recorded from these events, a conceptual understanding of the geological conditions susceptible to these events, operational controls impacting the likelihood and productivity of earthquakes, and regulatory controls enacted. Overall, the learnings from induced events in Alberta could be useful for other jurisdictions that are also encountering similar scenarios.

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