Earthquakes in the oil field at Rangely, Colorado

Open-File Report 72-130
By: , and 



Seven years of seismic data recorded at the Uinta Basin Observatory were searched for earthquakes originating near an oil field at Rangely, Colorado, located 65 km ESE of the observatory. Changes in the number of earthquakes recorded per year appear to correlate with changes in the quantity of fluid injected per year. Between November 1962 and January 1970, 976 earthquakes were detected near the oil field by the UBO station; 320 earthquakes were larger than magnitude 1.

Richter magnitudes are estimated from both S-wave and P-wave measurements and a method based on the duration of the seismic signal is used to estimate the magnitude of the larger shocks. The two largest shocks had magnitudes of 3.4 and 3.3. The total seismic energy released was l0l7 ergs. During this same period the energy used for water injection, measured at the wellhead, was 1021 ergs.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Earthquakes in the oil field at Rangely, Colorado
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 72-130
DOI 10.3133/ofr72130
Year Published 1972
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Earthquake Science Center
Description 26 p.; Appendix
Time Range Start 1962-11-01
Time Range End 1970-01-31
Country United States
State Colorado
City Rangely
Online Only (Y/N) Y
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