During the 1968 pumping tests at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal disposal welt, the U.S. Geological Survey was responsible for monitoring earthquakes occurring in the area of the arsenal and making chemical analysis of the fluids removed, three criteria were established to suspend the pumping if anomalous earthquake activity occurred during the pumping test. These criteria were based on the frequency, magnitude, and location of the local earthquakes.
The pumping program consisted of four tests which occurred between September 3 and October 26, 1968. During periods of pumping, earthquake activity remained within acceptable limits and no suspensions of the pumping were required. After each of the two major pumping periods an increase in the frequency of small earthquakes occurred. During the first of these two periods of high seismic activity the Geological Survey recommended a delay in the start of the next phase of the pumping until the activity subsided. Most of the earthquakes during 1968 occurred northwest of the arsenal; however, in the 2? month period after the start of the test, a larger percent of the earthquakes occurred on the arsenal than in the previous 8-month period. The temperature in the cooled zone at the bottom of the well was 12?F warmer 2 weeks after pumping stopped than it was in January 1968. Preliminary chemical analyses indicate that very little mixing between waste fluids and connate water bas occurred.
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USGS Numbered Series
Seismic activity during the 1968 test pumping at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal disposal well