ABSTRACT

The damage potential of induced earthquakes is compared to that of natural tectonic events, considering recent instrumental data and felt records from events of M 3.5–5.8 (in which M is the moment magnitude). Ground motions are mutually consistent at close distances (<30  km) for natural earthquakes in California, induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, and induced earthquakes in western Canada, despite differences in the dominant processes that trigger the events. Recorded peak ground motions may exceed the damage threshold for induced events of M4.0 within 5  km of the hypocenter; events of M4.5 are inferred to have significant damage potential within 5 km and may be damaging to greater distances. Felt and damage effects in Oklahoma, as reported on the U.S. Geological Survey’s online “Did You Feel It?” system, show that the damage threshold (modified Mercalli intensity [MMI] = 6) is commonly exceeded for events of M4.5 at close distances (<10  km) and that significant damage effects (MMI=7) are observed for M>4.8 events within 10 km.

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