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Monitoring Induced Seismicity Using Low-Cost Seismometers: A Case Study in Central Kansas

The state of Kansas has recently experienced an unprecedented increase in seismic activity, and research has identified high-rate wastewater injections as the primary cause of induced seismicity. With growing interest in geologic carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration, there is concern that such projects might also induce seismic events. To address this, the Department of Energy, in collaboration with the National Risk Assessment Partnership (NRAP), has established standard guidelines for new CO2 sequestration projects in the United States. The NRAP recommends a series of steps to be taken before injection operations commence, including the establishment of an active, local seismic network to monitor background seismicity for 6-12 months. To better understand the susceptibility of potential sequestration sites, efficient and affordable earthquake monitoring equipment is needed. This study utilizes the low-cost Raspberry Shake 3D seismometer and its readily available components, such as wireless modems, solar panels, and weather-resistant housing. Currently, five Raspberry Shake seismometers have been successfully installed and are operational in the Central Kansas area. Each station comes at a cost of approximately $3,500, offering a significant advantage over commonly used broadband seismometers that can cost more than $30,000 per station. Since the completion of the installation, the network has detected small local seismic events occurring at distances of only a few kilometers, events that went unnoticed by state and regional monitoring networks.


Third Place Award Winner

Second Place Award Winner

Geophysics and Geodynamics Division

 Best Student Presentation Award

The image on the right is a modified map of five station locations from Station View Raspberry Shake. The three stations located north of Bushton, KS were installed in March 2023. Once the first three stations proved to be recording and delivering data, two more stations were installed. Data from all stations has been collected since late April 2023.

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The figure on the right depicts a recorded earthquake location approximately 100 km NW of the Bushton network.

 The image on the right shows recordings from 3 stations of a M 3.2 earthquake on 24 May 2023. The waveforms indicate an earthquake event, however, the event was checked and compared to events recorded by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Kansas Geological Survey (KGS).

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