On January 19, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to identify and examine regulatory obstacles to offshore geological and geophysical resource surveying on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The hearing was held in response to a December 2017 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report detailing the permitting process for seismic research and identifies instances of inefficiency and inconsistency in meeting federal internal control standards. Congress is seeking compromises within the regulatory framework that would allow the U.S. to understand our offshore resource potential and ensure national energy security, while also minimizing the negative effects of anthropogenic noise in the marine environment.
A magnitude-7.1 earthquake struck Chile on Jan. 2, 2011, or so scientists thought. Now, with increasing sensor sensitivity and advances in the quantitative analysis of earthquakes, scientists have revealed that this quake was actually a doublet. This meant that instead of just one massive quake, two similarly large earthquakes struck very near to one another within seconds. The closely spaced doublet was missed by global monitoring networks during the initial aftermath of the quake, and, as EARTH Magazine explores, it presents a major challenge to earthquake and tsunami warning systems. Experts agree this is a challenge that must be brought to the forefront of seismic research.
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources heard testimony from industry representatives and academics on the permitting process for seismic surveys to prospect for oil and gas.