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Abstract

During 196l, a deep well was drilled at the Rocky-Mountain Arsenal northeast of Denver, Colorado, to dispose of contaminated waste water. The well is bottomed in 75 feet of highly fractured Precambrian gneiss. Pressure injection of waste water into the fractured Precambrian rock was begun in March 1962. Since the start of fluid injection, 710 Denver-area earthquakes have been recorded. The majority of these earthquakes had epicenters within a five-mile radius of the Arsenal well. The volume of fluid and pressure of fluid injection appears to be directly related to the frequency of earthquakes. Evidence also suggests that rock movement is due to the increase of fluid pressure within the fractured reservoir and that open fractures may exist at depths greater than previously considered possible.

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