The Human-Induced Earthquake Database (HiQuake)

Who would have thought..?   We’re living on an egg shell and the data in this story from the independent  website (below)  confirms how fragile the planet is while indicating the damage done by us.

Nature magazine says that from mining projects to oil and gas operations, human activity has set off earthquakes around the world and in many geological settings. Research now highlights how big these quakes can get — and how little scientists agree on which ones are caused by people.

The Human-Induced Earthquake Database, or HiQuake, contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes) that may have been set off by humans over the past 149 years. Most of them were small, between magnitudes 3 and 4. But, says Nature,  the list also includes several large, destructive earthquakes, such as the magnitude-7.8 quake in Nepal in April 2015, which one paper linked to groundwater pumping.

The database (HiQuake) is the largest and most up-to-date database of earthquake sequences proposed to have been induced or triggered by human activity. The data are freely available to download in Microsoft Excel format for your own analysis.

Projects with reported induced seismicity

  • Mining 37%
  • Water reservoir impoundment 22%
  • Conventional Oil and Gas 14%
  • Geothermal 8%
  • Waste fluid disposal 5%
  • Fracking 6%
  • Nuclear explosions 3%
  • Unspecified Oil and Gas/Waste fluid disposal 2%
  • Research 2%
  • Groundwater extraction 1%
  • Deep penetrating bombs .5%
  • Construction .3%
  • CCS .3%
  • Coal Bed Methane (CBM) .1%
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Paul Smith

Paul is a veteran journalist, non-fiction author and writing mentor. He has also served on boards ranging from TVNZ to UNESCO.