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NORMAN, OKLA. – A team of University of Oklahoma researchers recently published their findings on the connections between injection-related earthquake activity, and pre-existing fault systems in the granitic basement rocks that underlie large portions of Oklahoma in the journal Nature-Geoscience.

It has been speculated that wastewater injection is the cause of the recent increase in seismic activity in the central and eastern US, including Oklahoma where the highest concentration of seismicity has occurred. However, the necessary ‘ingredients’ required for the observed earthquakes have yet to be fully identified. The team of researchers in OU’s Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy were able to identify distinctive characteristics of Oklahoma’s basement that makes it susceptible to injection-related earthquakes. Their study highlights in detail, for the first time, the most complete list of ‘ingredients’ necessary to generate widespread induced earthquakes.

The study, concentrating on activity in Oklahoma through a multidisciplinary approach of data collection and analyses, was led by OU doctoral student Folarin Kolawole. Other participants include School of Geosciences faculty Kurt Marfurt, Ze’ev Reches and Brett Carpenter; former students Candace Johnston and Chance Morgan; and U.S. Geological Survey geophysicists Jefferson Chang and David Lockner.... Continue reading

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Podcast Interview:  Leigh, D., Watkins, R., & Kolawole, F.. (2017, December 12).  Parsing Science – Fault Reactivation and Earthquakes. figshare.

In this episode we talk with Folarin Kolawole from the University of Oklahoma about his research into how the reactivation of faults can lead to earthquakes in places where they’ve never before occurred in recorded history. His open-access article “Aeromagnetic, gravity, and Differential Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar analyses reveal the causative fault of the 3 April 2017 Mw 6.5 Moiyabana, Botswana, earthquake” with was published with seven other researchers in September 2017 in Geophysical Research Letters.... Listen to the podcast here


Seequent News & Updates 

Groundbreaking doctoral research led by Folarin Kolawole through Oklahoma State University cites filtering and interpreting “high-resolution aeromagnetic data in tectonically-active areas with large human populations can be extremely useful for assessing the seismic hazards.” Kolawole’s study showed connections between factors that were previously unlinked, leveraging limited data from a series of sources, such as rock strength, previous incidents of earthquake, and aeromagnetics.

Using Oasis montaj, our software solution that provides modeling and analysis tools, to filter and explore this data gave Kolawole unprecedented insight into how environmental factors work together to reveal likely outcomes. This kind of data collection and analysis will lead to safer cities, earlier and more accurate detection and preparedness actions, and less loss of life and property, as well as reduced strain on infrastructure.... Continue reading


Seequent Case Studies & Impact Stories 

As any earth scientist knows, earthquakes are notoriously difficult to predict. It’s clear to most other people too—we’ve all witnessed the devastating effects of earthquakes in populated areas; especially where there was no prior knowledge of subsurface faults. Folarin Kolawole and his team used existing aeromagnetic data to elucidate the relationship between fault segments, pre-existing basement fabric and the locations of surface faulting related to the 2009 Mw 6.0 Karonga, Malawi, earthquake along the hinge zone of a segment of the Malawi Rift.... Continue reading


Shortly after 7 am on Saturday, September 3, 2016, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck near Pawnee. While only injuring one, the temblor registered as the strongest quake in Oklahoma state history, and tied for the strongest quake registered in the continental U.S. outside of the Western region.

The occurrence of such a powerful earthquake also provided an OSU research team, led by recent Master’s recipient Folarin Kolawole, a unique opportunity to chart how the earth is susceptible to change under the stress of seismic events. In a paper published in an upcoming issue of “Seismological Research Letters,” Kolawole details how his team used the measurement of geoelectrical resistivity to map ground conditions susceptible to liquefaction during an earthquake.... Continue reading

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