Prediction of magnitude of the largest potentially induced seismic event

Miroslav Hallo, Ivo Oprsal, Leo Eisner, Mohammed Y. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


We propose a method for determining the possible magnitude of a potentially largest induced seismic event derived from the Gutenberg-Richter law and an estimate of total released seismic moment. We emphasize that the presented relationship is valid for induced (not triggered) seismicity, as the total seismic moment of triggered seismicity is not bound by the injection. The ratio of the moment released by the largest event and weaker events is determined by the constants a and b of the Gutenberg-Richter law. We show that for a total released seismic moment, it is possible to estimate number of events greater than a given magnitude. We determine the formula for the moment magnitude of a probable largest seismic event with one occurrence within the recurrence interval (given by one volumetric change caused by mining or injecting). Finally, we compare theoretical and measured values of the moment magnitudes of the largest induced seismic events for selected geothermal and hydraulic fracturing projects.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Seismology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • b value
  • Enhanced geothermal systems
  • Hydraulic fracturing
  • Induced events
  • Magnitude
  • Microseismicity
  • Seismic moment


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