Frequently Answered Question


Seismic event sources: earthquakes vs. fracking

Is there any way to find out which events in your database of events are natural earthquakes and which ones are seismic events caused by human activity such as fracking that happens in Pennsylvania and New York state?


IRIS is not in the business of distinguishing between naturally occurring background passive seismic sources (i.e. earthquakes) and anthropogenic sources of induced seismicity (i.e. mine blasts).

We suggest you contact either the United States Geological Survey, your local state seismologist, and/or a civil engineering company to assist you.

Many geophysical researchers in the United States have done studies comparing the different sources of seismicity. That is just not something IRIS does.

Try a Google search to find recent peer-reviewed studies as an initial investigation, and we wish you the best of luck with your research.

Updated: 05/18/2017