Seismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing operations at Preston New Road, Lancashire, 2018


Hydraulic fracturing of an unconventional shale reservoir in northwest England began in October 2018, over seven years after induced seismicity related to the first such operations in the UK resulted in a moratorium. We use data from a dense network of sensors to map induced seismicity in space and time and to show that seismicity rates increase significantly during operations. Current UK regulations require operators to temporarily stop injection if any events exceed a magnitude of 0.5 ML, however, we find that both magnitude uncertainty and incompleteness of the earthquake catalogue may create a considerable problem for both operators and regulators, highlighting the problem of reliable characterisation of induced seismicity during operations.

About the speaker

Dr Brian Baptie is Head of Seismology at the British Geological Society (BGS). He holds a Ph.D in seismology from the University of Edinburgh examining the behaviour of seismic waves in anisotropic wave guides as mechanism for identifying fractures. Since 1996 he worked for the BGS, where he has headed the Seismology section since 2008. His work with BGS has included the monitoring of both naturally occurring and induced seismicity from a wide range of sources.

Further information

This evening meeting is organised by SECED and chaired by Chris Browitt (Edinburgh University). Non-members of the society are welcome to attend. Attendance at this meeting is free. Seats are allocated on a first come, first served basis. Tea, coffee and biscuits will be served from 5.30pm - 6pm. For further information, please contact Shelly-Ann Russell (tel. 020 7665 2147, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Event Details

Event Date 25/09/2019 6:00 pm
Location Institution of Civil Engineers

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