Document Type



This article reviews the scientific theories and studies regarding induced seismicity, in addition to examining the current regulatory framework and litigation arising out of these seismic events. Lastly, it provides strategies to aid stakeholders and identifies challenges likely to arise in the future.

Part I of this Article provides a review of the geoscience theories regarding natural and induced seismicity. Part II reviews the current scientific literature regarding a possible relationship between certain oil and gas operations and induced seismicity. Part III reviews the existing regulatory structure addressing seismicity in affected states, including possible applicable environmental legislation. Part IV discusses the resulting litigation involving oil and gas seismicity. Part V sets forth possible strategies for stakeholders.

Finally, Part VI offers the author’s conclusions, including identifying future areas of concern. While this Article reviews and discusses various scientific studies regarding induced seismicity and the wastewater and hydraulic fracturing processes, it does not support or advocate any conclusion. It simply reports the findings issued by various scientific and engineering groups. Although the Article may address international examples, it focuses on the United States.