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EPA's Study of Hydraulic Fracturing and Its Potential Impact on Drinking Water Resources

Modeling of fault activation and seismicity by injection directly into a fault zone associated with hydraulic fracturing of shale-gas reservoirs

Rutqvist et al. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering. March 2015

Summary

Researchers expanded upon a previous study by injecting directly into a 3D representation of a hypothetical fault zone located in the geologic units between the shale-gas reservoir and the drinking water aquifer. As before, modeling results suggest it is unlikely that activation of a fault by shale-gas hydraulic fracturing at great depth could create a flow path that could reach shallow groundwater. Furthermore, these results suggest that induced seismicity likely would not be felt at land surface. This work was done as part of EPA's Study of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources.

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