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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Special Volumes


Memoir 103: Critical Assessment of Shale Resource Plays, 2013
Pages 109-119

Chapter 6: What Further Research Could Teach Us about “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”: Intraplate Earthquakes Associated with Fluid Injection

Cliff Frohlich, Eric Potter


We propose five hypothesis concerning small intraplate earthquakes and the possibility that they are triggered by fluid injection. The proposed hypotheses are based on empirical observations but are consistent with the generally accepted ideas that small intraplate earthquakes are ubiquitous and occur on preexisting faults in response to regional tectonic stress and that injected fluids can induce seismic slip by reducing normal stress and hence fault strength. Although these hypotheses are not yet proven, they serve as a template for additional research. They also provide a basis for making decisions that reduce the likelihood of triggering earthquakes and for mitigating potential seismic hazard associated with injection activities.

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