Seismicity: a case of the shakes

Earthquake risk is seen as a potential show stopper. The issues are actually quite subtle, writes Simon Inglethorpe

The Lancashire village of Weeton, just north of the M55 several kilometres to the west of Blackpool, sits above a large and potentially valuable energy resource. Natural gas is locked deep below within the Bowland Shale, a brittle faulted rock more than 300 million years old.

The presence of unconventional gas explains the exploratory drilling by Cuadrilla Resources at Preese Hall outside the village in 2011. This led to something unusual and unexpected happening several kilometres underground that spring.

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