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Index > Australia > NSW > Coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers > Impacts on seismic activity

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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
by Elfian Schieren, 2012

Contents
1. Introduction
2. Energy and coal seam gas development
2.1 Economic viability underpinning coal seam gas development
2.2 Renewable, sustainable energy development
- Solar
- Wind
- Biogas
2.3 Coal seam gas development at a global scale
2.4 Coal seam gas development in Australia
3 Coal seam gas extraction process
- Drilling and dewatering
- Hydraulic Fracturing
- Produced Water
4 Risks to water resources from coal seam gas development
4.4 Ground water use
4.5 Water produced by coal seam gas
4.6 Contamination of Groundwater
5 Other Consequences of coal seam gas development
5.4 Impacts to agricultural production
5.5 Health impacts on humans and animals
5.6 Impacts on greenhouse gas emissions
5.7 Impacts on seismic activity
5.8 Economic impacts
5.9 Cumulative impacts
6 Potential for coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales
6.1 Northern Rivers Region
6.2 Using trade-offs and opportunity costs in evaluating CSG development
6.3 Prospects for development in Northern Rivers region
6.4 Energy development in Northern Rivers region
6.5 Northern Rivers community actions and groups in response to CSG development
7 Discussion
8 Conclusion
9 References

PDF file
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NSW Chief Scientist & Engineer

NSW Planning Bill 2013

Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Public Interest) Bill 2013

Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013

NSW Land & Water Commission

NSW Irrigators

NSW Irrigators
Tour of Colorado

NSW Farmers

AGL Gloucester Milk Experiment
Is Fracking Produced Water Safe in Our Milk?

Gloucester stands up to corporate gas giant AGL

Gloucester Water Studies

MidCoast Water concerned at AGL's haste

2004 gas blow out 300m away in the same wells

Lies, damned lies, statistics
and AGL

AGL’s Gloucester ‘Produced Water’ Irrigation Trial
“A Sham and a Farce!”

CSG companies ignore water quality guidelines in irrigation reports

NoFibs Gloucester Showdown

Fracking near Gloucester homes under AGL’s latest coal seam gas plans

Federal member for Lyne
Dr David Gillespie

AGL buys up Hunter Valley vineyards

AGL versus
Environment Protection Agency 2013

A matter of trust: – letter to Gloucester Advocate

Rob Oakeshott's coal seam gas press releases
2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010
Water Trigger - Gloucester BioRegion - Hunter Valley health

2011 NSW Parliament
Inquiry into Coal Seam Gas

Affected Mid North Coast Councils

Upper Hunter Shire Council

Thomas Davey, Tourism Advancing Gloucester

MidCoast Water

New South Wales Farmers Associations Dairy Committee

Bruce Robertson,
Beef cattle farmer

Steven Robinson, Psychiatrist

Barrington-Gloucester-Stroud Preservation Alliance

 

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An overview of possible impacts from coal seam gas development in Northern Rivers, New South Wales

Integrated Project by Elfian Schieren, 2012

5.4 Impacts on seismic activity

There is some concern from the community that drilling and fraccing activities can potentially cause earthquakes of a magnitude that may endanger lives and infrastructure.

The process of drilling and injecting and extracting fluids into bedrock can change the existing stress state in the rock and cause seismic activity to occur (Styles, 2012).

A phenomenon known as borehole breakout and drilling induced fracture can occur when the removal of rock material within the borehole causes the stresses in the surrounding rock to cause compressive or tensile failure in the bore wall (Figure 6) (Asquith and Krygowski, 2004).

Usually these seismic events are localised and very small only detectable with seismic testing equipment. Sometimes the stress spreads further and moderate size tremors can be felt at the surface by people living nearby.

CSG engineers try to alleviate the chance of this happening by computer simulation of rock stress, fracture behaviour and seismic activity (Beck, no date).

According to British media the mining company Cuadrilla admitted to being the most likely cause for two earthquakes of 2.4 and 1.5 relative magnitude in Blackpool in April, 2012 (White, 2012).

Further research confirmed that hydraulic fracturing was in fact responsible for triggering the earthquakes in Blackpool (Styles, 2012).

 

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