Major

Emergency Management and Homeland Security

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019

Abstract

This research analyzes the extent to which the hydraulic fracturing process contributes to seismic activity in the State of Ohio and compares Ohio’s fracking induced seismicity with other case studies from the States of Texas, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma. It distinguishes and addresses the differences in risks that fracking poses in conventional natural gas wells versus unconventional horizontal wells where natural gas is extracted from reservoirs with low permeability. Ohio’s earthquake history, fracking history, current fracking regulations, and restrictions on local regulations were thoroughly investigated to determine just how much fracking has affected the state’s seismicity rate. Since 2011, when unconventional natural gas development began occurring, Ohio has experienced a significant increase in both microseismicity and 2.0+ magnitude earthquakes. Earthquakes and hydraulic fracturing were studied from an emergency management perspective through the examination of local hazard mitigation plans from each of the state’s 88 counties to determine what, if any, mitigative strategies were being implemented by local emergency management agencies. Potential mitigative strategies that local emergency management agencies could implement to reduce the risks that fracking poses have also been discussed.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Robert M. Schwartz

First Reader

Dr. Terry O'Sullivan

Second Reader

Benjamin Rochester

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