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HiQuake: The human-induced earthquake database

Lookup NU author(s): Miles Wilson, Professor Richard DaviesORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Seismological Society of America, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2017 by the Seismological Society of America. HiQuake-The Human-Induced Earthquake Database is the most complete database of anthropogenic projects proposed, on scientific grounds, to have induced earthquake sequences. It is freely available to download from the website given in Data and Resources. At the time this article was written, HiQuake contained ∼730 anthropogenic projects proposed to have induced earthquakes, as well as associated project-related and seismic data. The most commonly reported anthropogenic activities proposed to have induced earthquakes are mining and water reservoir impoundment. In recent years, the number of earthquake sequences proposed to have been induced by fluidinjection activities has grown. The most commonly reported maximum observed magnitude in an induced earthquake sequence is 3 ≤MMAX <4. The largest earthquake in HiQuake proposed to have been induced had a magnitude of Mw 7.9 and occurred in China. Such large earthquakes release mostly stress of natural tectonic origin, but are conceivably triggered by small anthropogenic stress changes. The data in HiQuake are of variable quality because they are drawn from publications that span almost a century. We estimate underreporting to be ∼30% for M ∼ 4 events, ∼60% for M ∼ 3 events, and ∼90% for M ∼ 2 events. The degree of certitude that the given earthquake sequences were anthropogenically induced is variable. HiQuake includes all earthquake sequences proposed on scientific grounds to have been human induced without regard to the strength of the case made. HiQuake is offered freely as a resource to interested parties, and judging the reliability of any particular case is the responsibility of the database user. HiQuake will be routinely updated to correct errors, update existing entries, and add new entries. It has the potential to help improve our understanding of induced earthquakes and to manage their impact on society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilson MP, Foulger GR, Gluyas JG, Davies RJ, Julian BR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Seismological Research Letters

Year: 2017

Volume: 88

Issue: 6

Pages: 1560-1565

Online publication date: 04/10/2017

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

Date deposited: 26/11/2018

ISSN (print): 0895-0695

ISSN (electronic): 1938-2057

Publisher: Seismological Society of America


DOI: 10.1785/0220170112


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