The Alberta Geological Survey has an interactive map which shows where earthquakes have occurred in Alberta and can be shown by year, pictured, or by magnitude. Photo from

Alberta Energy Regulator still investigating Sylvan Lake earthquake

AER says they are working with Alberta Geological Survey to determine if fracking is the cause

The Alberta Energy Regulator says the order to suspend operations at the Vesta Energy site is a precaution at this time.

Natalie Brodych, communications officer with Alberta Energy Regulator (AER), said at this time the cause of the March 4 earthquake is unknown.

“Vesta Energy reported the earthquake to us, and as a result we ordered the suspension of operations while we investigate,” Brodych said.

Vesta Energy has a site near Sylvan Lake and reported it was fracking at the time of the quake. Operations at the site immediately ceased, according to an AER order.

Brodych says AER is working with the Alberta Geological Survey to investigate whether or not work at the Vesta Energy site was the cause of Monday’s 4.6 earthquake.

READ MORE: Monday’s 4.6ML earthquake largest Central Alberta has experienced

“To investigate the earthquake, the AER and Alberta Geological Survey (AGS) are reviewing the passive seismic data (natural, low frequency earth movements) recorded in the region alongside operational data to look for possible correlations,” said Brodych.

According the AGS, the epicentre of the earthquake is believed to have been in close proximity to the Vesta Energy site.

Director of Environment and Operational Performance Erik Kuleba says in the order issued to Vesta Energy “that a release of a substance or substances has occurred, and

that substances have caused, are causing, or may cause an adverse effect.”

“We have very strict requirements, and a number of requirements that are in place should something like this happen,” said Brodych. “While we do not know for sure the fracturing is responsible it is something we are required to look into.”

Before they are able to resume operations, Vesta Energy must submit a plan to AER by March 11 “to show how they will minimize the risk of any seismic impacts in the future.”

Vesta Energy must include in their plan all passive seismic data from April 2018 to present.

“The AGS will also investigate the subsurface conditions in the area to determine if they are vulnerable to induced seismicity,” explained Brodych.

According to the AGS, Alberta has experienced more than 600 earthquakes between 1985 and 2011. During the same time, Saskatchewan only experienced 41 recorded earthquakes.

Most of Alberta’s recorded earthquakes are distributed evenly along the foothills and Rocky Mountains, there are also clusters of earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountain “deformation belt” around Rocky Mountain House, according to AGS.

“The Rocky Mountain House cluster studies documented the first evidence of induced seismicity related to hydrocarbon production in Alberta,” the AGS website states.

The AGS says areas that are generally considered to be more “seismically quiet” have been “tentatively linked to hydraulic fracturing operations.”

Follow Megan Roth on Twitter


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

2019 Women of Excellence Awards nominees announced

The nominees were announced in Red Deer Thursday

City watching speed limit debate

Blackfalds, Calgary and Edmonton the latest to consider reduced residential speed limits

Movie shot in Red Deer and Lacombe is nominated for Alberta film award

‘Cor Values’ is up for a Best Feature Rosie

Red Deer developer ordered to replant some of the levelled College Park trees

Some residents don’t believe restoration plans go far enough

Red Deer election forum set for April 11

Presented by Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Local Sports: Queen’s Avery Lajeunesse not afraid to get physical

A year ago Avery Lajeunesse made a commitment to join the RDC… Continue reading

Seniors: Exposing the hype surrounding supplements

Do we need dietary supplements as we age? Do these supplements actually… Continue reading

Eight warning signs you won’t finish college

Forty per cent of students who enrol in a four-year college don’t… Continue reading

Photos: Deer spotted in Red Deer

Spring has sprung. One Advocate reader has been seeing a herd of… Continue reading

Ken Johnston competes in Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Oil field worker to show off his moves on the dance floor

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Radio show host is Sheraton Celebrity dancer in Red Deer

VINNIE TAYLOR You may have heard Vinnie Taylor on the radio in… Continue reading

Dancing dentist of Innisfail

Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off will be held April 13

Most Read