on March 31st, 2016

Man-made earthquakes will now feature in the U.S. Geological Survey’s (UGSG) seismic risk maps. This would assist civil engineers and design companies in their contemplation of where to build buildings and how strong those buildings should be. 

The Daily Mail writes that these measurements will be included in the survey due to, “temblors linked to wastewater disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry in Oklahoma.” The UGSG recently reported that 7 million people reside in zones that are directly in danger of experiencing man-made earthquakes due to oil and gas drilling 

Mark Petersen, chief of the USGS National Seismic Hazard Mapping Project delivered a statement wherein he said, “By including human-induced events, our assessment of earthquake hazards has significantly increased in parts of the U.S.”  

The states affected most by human-induced earthquakes are: Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and Arkansas. 

“In the past five years, the UGSG has documented high shaking and damage in areas of these six states, mostly from induced earthquakes,” Petersen continued. 

Now that these areas are being measured and mapped out, there can be more pressure on civil engineers to minimize the amount of man-made earthquakes in densely populated areas. However, The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2016 report does not include the human-induced earthquake figures. Regardless, whether or not the new implementation of man-made seismic activity statistics in the UGSG reports will influence anything, the recent developments should leave people saying, “better safe than sorry.” 

For detailed seismic risk maps and further information visit: The USGS website


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