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Tech Hosts Workshop On Induced Earthquakes

This event has been postponed a date to-be-determined in August.

 

SOCORRO, NM. April 17, 2014 – New Mexico Tech is hosting a first-of-its-kind workshop that will address the relationship between petroleum drilling and earthquakes, or “induced seismicity.”

The event will feature a series of guest speakers and will be Tuesday, May 13, in Workman 101 on campus in Socorro. The event starts at 9 a.m., with three speakers in the morning and four speakers after lunch.

Over the past few decades, scientists have been examining the relationship between oil exploration – specifically hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and horizontal drilling – and the increasing number of small earthquakes in the same areas. Several studies have examined the timing and location of seismic activity in Arkansas, Ohio, New Mexico and other states.

“A growing number of Earth scientists are looking at the relationship between oil exploration and seismic activity,” said Dr. Van Romero, Vice President of Research at New Mexico Tech. “With this workshop, we hope to place New Mexico Tech researchers at the forefront of the discussions about the topic.”

Romero will open the day-long event with a welcome to all participants. Hydrology professor Dr. Mark Person of New Mexico Tech is coordinating the event.

He said, “This is becoming a more important topic in recent years due to the large volumes of produced saline water that must be re-injected into deep subsurface reservoirs. If we can get a firm handle on the mechanisms controlling seismicity associated with saline water disposal practices, hopefully we can come up with some practical suggestions for best management practices.”

Guest speakers include the following:

    • Dr. Mark Person, New Mexico Tech – “Induced Seismicity events in the Midcontinent U.S.A.”
    • Dr. David Dempsey and Dr. Sharad Kelkar, Los Alamos National Lab, “Couple Geomechanical Hydrologic Models”
    • Dr. Andrew Delorey, Los Alamos National Lab, “Probing the Critical Stress State In Reservoirs”
    • Dr. Sue Bilek, New Mexico Tech, “Seismic Monitoring of Induced Seismic Events”
    • Dr. Sutin Holland and Dr. Randy Keller, Oklahoma Geological Survey, “Oklahoma Seismicity and Potential Cases of Induced Seismicity”
    • Dr. Reid Grigg and Dr. Bob Balch, New Mexico Tech, “Induced Seismicity in Paradise Valley, Utah”
    • Dr. Peter Mozley, New Mexico Tech, “Field Observations of Sedimentary and Crystalline Basement Fault Permeability”

The workshop is free and open to the public.  To register, please email Gina Chavez at gchavez@admin.nmt.edu.

– NMT –

By Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech