Man-made earthquakes prevention through monitoring and discharging of their causative stress-deformed states


Despite our understanding of the different mechanisms of man-made earthquakes, their short-term prediction and prevention is yet to be attained. In the present study, we propose an integrated four-step approach to predict and prevent man-made earthquakes or reduce their chance of occurrence. Our four-step approach includes locating the highly anomalous zones of microseismic emission (MSE) that result from the stress-deformed state inside a geological formation and often represents the “seismic nuclei” for impending earthquakes, monitoring the variations and dynamics of the anomalous MSE zones over a period of one lunar month, inducing a creep-discharging of the MSE zones using a vibroseis seismic source at the ground surface, and monitoring the same MSE zones following the creep-discharge to determine whether the stress-deformed state was released and the chance of potential earthquake occurrence has been eliminated or reduced. The proposed full four-step approach has never implemented at one single location. Nevertheless, these steps have been tested separately at different sites and have proven successful. We propose conducting the full four-step approach at various locations of potential man-made earthquake activities around the world including the state of Oklahoma in the USA.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7


  1. Bolt BA (1978) Earthquakes: a primer

  2. Chirkin IA, Rizanov EG, Kalyashin SV, Koligaev SO, Radwan AA (2014a) Monitoring of microseismic emission for supporting the ecological safety in exploration and development of oil fields in water areas. Bulletin of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences 4:8–14 (in Russian)

    Google Scholar 

  3. Chirkin IA, Rizanov EG, Koligaev SO (2014b) Monitoring of microseismic emission – a new trend in the development of seismic exploration. Instrum Sys for Geophys Explor 3:6–15 (in Russian)

  4. Frohlich C, DeShon H, Stump B, Hayward C, Hornbach M, Walter JI (2016) A historical review of induced earthquakes in Texas. Seismological Res Lett 87(4):1022–1038

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hseih P, Bredehoeft J (1981) A reservoir analysis of the Denver earthquakes: a case of induced seismicity. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 86(B2):903–920

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Hough SE, Page M (2015) A century of induced earthquakes in Oklahoma? Bull Seismological Soc  America 105(6):2863–2870

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Karamanos AS (1993) Earthquake prediction from the viewpoint of earthquake engineering. In: Prediction and perception of natural hazards. Springer, Dordrecht,  pp 135–142

  8. Kasahara K (1981) Earthquake mechanics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  9. Kouznetsov OL, Lyasch YF, Chirkin IA, Rizanov EG, LeRoy SD, Koligaev SO (2016) Long-term monitoring of microseismic emissions: Earth tides, fracture distribution, and fluid content. Interpretation 4(2):T191–T204

  10. Kuznetsov OL, Chirkin IA, Kuryanov YA, Rogotsky GV, Dyblenko VP (2004) Experimental studies, vol 2. In:  Seismo-acoustics of porous and fractured geological formations, vol 1-3, Moscow, State Research Center of Russian Federation VNIIGEOSYSTEM, p 362 (in Russian)

  11. Kuznetsov OL, Chirkin IA, Kuryanov YA, Slionkin SI (2007) New technologies and solution of applied problems, Vol 3. In: Seismo-acoustics of porous and fractured geological formations, vol 1-3, Moscow, Center of Information technologies and nature use, LLC, p 434 (in Russian)

  12. Llenos AL, Michael AJ (2013) Modeling earthquake rate changes in Oklahoma and Arkansas: possible signatures of induced seismicity. Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 2850–2861.

  13. McGarr A, Simpson D, Seeber L, Lee W (2002) Case histories of induced and triggered seismicity. Int Geophys Series 81(A):647–664

  14. McNamara DE, Rubinstein JL, Myers E, Smoczyk G, Benz HM, Williams RA, Hayes G, Wilson D, Herrmann R, McMahon ND, Aster RC (2015a) Efforts to monitor and characterize the recent increasing seismicity in central Oklahoma. Lead Edge 34(6):628–639

  15. McNamara DE, Benz HM, Herrmann RB, Bergman EA, Earle P, Holland A, Baldwin R, Gassner A (2015b) Earthquake hypocenters and focal mechanisms in central Oklahoma reveal a complex system of reactivated subsurface strike‐slip faulting. Geophys Res Lett 42(8):2742–2749

  16. National Research Council (2003) Living on an active earth: perspectives on earthquake science. Washington, D.C., National Academy of Science, p 43

  17. Nicholson C, Wesson RL (1990) Earthquake hazard associated with deep well injection: a report to the U.S. Environment Protection Agency, US Geological Survey Bulletin 1951, p 74

  18. USGS (2018) Earthquakes in Oklahoma greater than or equal to magnitude 3.0 since 1978 (data provided by the Oklahoma Geological Survey and USGS-NEIC ComCat). Source:

Download references


Authors would like to thank the editor-in-chief, the guest editor, and the reviewers for the time and exertion they put into their constructive comments and remarks that really helped in improving the quality of the manuscript.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ahmed Abdelmaksoud.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Additional information

This article is part of the Topical Collection on New Advances and Research Results on the Geology of Africa

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kuznetsov, O., Chirkin, I., Radwan, A.A. et al. Man-made earthquakes prevention through monitoring and discharging of their causative stress-deformed states. Arab J Geosci 14, 288 (2021).

Download citation


  • Earthquakes
  • Discharging
  • Microseismic emissions
  • Prevention
  • Seismic monitoring
  • Anomaly