Seismicity in Lancashire

Network of seismometers in the UKArray with inset of stations in north west England

The injection of fluids during hydraulic fracturing can result in increased seismic activity. A number of seismic events resulting from induced seismicity were recorded in Blackpool area in 2011 as well as 2018 and 2019. Seismic activity monitored in 2019 led to the cessation of hydraulic fracturing at the Preston New Road site and ultimately, uncertainties in ability to predict the probability of seismic events led to the imposition of the moratorium on shale-gas hydraulic fracturing in England in November 2019.

Monitoring of seismicity in the Fylde involved installation of a network of seismic stations in the vicinity of the Preston New Road shale-gas wells, with collection of real-time seismic data to help characterise levels of seismic activity both prior to and during hydraulic fracturing. Extra seismic stations installed for monitoring the hydraulic fracturing activities at Preston New Road have now been removed, but core stations included in the national monitoring network remain.

Seismometer installation

Instrumentally recorded earthquakes (red circles) from 1970 to present and historical earthquakes (yellow circles) prior to 1970
Seismogram for Blackpool Warton as part of the UKArray network


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