Drilling Investigation of Seismogenic Crust in Oklahoma (DISCO)

Oklahoma, U.S.A.

USGS damage forecast maps for Oklahoma for 2016 and 2017. Photo ©: USGS

The drastic, unexpected surge of earthquake activity in the central United States since 2009 has alarmed the public, and resulted in the release of a one-year earthquake hazard map for the central US. Not just an Oklahoma concern, induced earthquakes have also been observed throughout other portions of North America (Colorado, Arkansas Texas, Ohio, Kansas, Illinois western Canada) and the world (Switzerland, southern Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands). The recent earthquakes occurring in Oklahoma, including the September 3rd, 2016, M5.8 Pawnee earthquake, nucleated at depths well within the igneous basement. Although much is known about the shallow sedimentary sequences in Oklahoma, where oil and gas are produced, little is known about the structure and insitu properties of the underlying igneous basement, where the largest and most damaging earthquakes originate. The target is a drilling project into the seismogenic, igneous basement of Oklahoma near and across a causative fault of a M5+ earthquake. Such a project will provide a better understanding the processes and conditions leading to the observed fluid-induced seismicity.

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