Honors & Awards

  • Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing in 2021, AGU JGR Solid Earth (2021)
  • AER Awards of Excellence, Alberta Energy Regulator (2018)
  • AER Awards of Excellence, Alberta Energy Regulator (2015)
  • AER Awards of Excellence, Alberta Energy Regulator (2014)
  • Graduate Student Teaching Award, University of Alberta (2012)
  • Roy Hibbs Memorial Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta (2011)
  • Alberta Advanced Education and Technology Graduate Student Scholarship, Government of Alberta (2011)
  • Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers Scholarship, CAPP (2011)
  • Canadian Society of Explorational Geophysicists Scholarship, CSEG (2011)
  • Golden Key International Honour Society Member, Golden Key (2011)
  • Queen Elizabeth II Graduate Scholarship, University of Alberta (2011)
  • Jason Lang Scholarship, University of Alberta (2008)
  • Rutherford Scholarship, Government of Alberta (2003)

Education & Certifications

  • M.Sc., University of Alberta, Geophysics (2012)
  • B.Sc., University of Alberta, Honours Physics (2009)
  • B.Sc., University of Alberta, Specialization in Chemistry (2007)

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

I am interested in better understanding the geological, tectonic, and hydrological controls on induced earthquakes. Specifically, in using observational seismology techniques to infer these characteristics. In addition to this, I am also interested in describing practical regulatory frameworks to manage induced seismicity. My prior focus has emphasized earthquakes related to hydraulic fracturing, but will include other anthropogenic causes such as wastewater disposal.

Lab Affiliations

Work Experience

  • Seismologist, Alberta Geological Survey (May 1, 2012)


    Edmonton, Alberta

All Publications

  • Complex 3D Migration and Delayed Triggering of Hydraulic Fracturing-Induced Seismicity: A Case Study Near Fox Creek, Alberta GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Gao, D., Kao, H., Wang, B., Visser, R., Schultz, R., Harrington, R. M. 2022; 49 (2)
  • Statistical bounds on how induced seismicity stops. Scientific reports Schultz, R., Ellsworth, W. L., Beroza, G. C. 1800; 12 (1): 1184


    Earthquakes caused by human activities receive scrutiny due to the risks and hazards they pose. Seismicity that occurs after the causative anthropogenic operation stops has been particularly problematic-both because of high-profile cases of damage caused by this trailing seismicity and due to the loss of control for risk management. With this motivation, we undertake a statistical examination of how induced seismicity stops. We borrow the concept of Bath's law from tectonic aftershock sequences. Bath's law anticipates the difference between magnitudes in two subsets of seismicity as dependent on their population count ratio. We test this concept for its applicability to induced seismicity, including ~80 cases of earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracturing, enhanced geothermal systems, and other fluid-injections with clear operational end points. We find that induced seismicity obeys Bath's law: both in terms of the magnitude-count-ratio relationship and the power law distribution of residuals. Furthermore, the distribution of count ratios is skewed and heavy-tailed, with most earthquakes occurring during stimulation/injection. We discuss potential models to improve the characterization of these count ratios and propose a Seismogenic Fault Injection Test to measure their parameters in situ. We conclude that Bath's law quantifies the occurrence of earthquake magnitudes trailing anthropogenic operations.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-05216-9

    View details for PubMedID 35075145

  • A Strategy for Choosing Red-Light Thresholds to Manage Hydraulic Fracturing Induced Seismicity in North America JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Schultz, R., Beroza, G. C., Ellsworth, W. L. 2021; 126 (12)
  • Lateral fluid propagation and strike slip fault reactivation related to hydraulic fracturing and induced seismicity in the Duvernay Formation, Fox Creek area, Alberta GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Konstantinovskaya, E., Li, Q., Zhmodik, A., Ibelegbu, C., Schultz, R., Shipman, T. 2021; 227 (1): 518-543
  • Quantifying nuisance ground motion thresholds for induced earthquakes EARTHQUAKE SPECTRA Schultz, R., Quitoriano, V., Wald, D. J., Beroza, G. C. 2021; 37 (2): 789-802
  • A risk-based approach for managing hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity. Science (New York, N.Y.) Schultz, R., Beroza, G. C., Ellsworth, W. L. 2021; 372 (6541): 504–7


    Risks from induced earthquakes are a growing concern that needs effective management. For hydraulic fracturing of the Eagle Ford shale in southern Texas, we developed a risk-informed strategy for choosing red-light thresholds that require immediate well shut-in. We used a combination of datasets to simulate spatially heterogeneous nuisance and damage impacts. Simulated impacts are greater in the northeast of the play and smaller in the southwest. This heterogeneity is driven by concentrations of population density. Spatially varying red-light thresholds normalized on these impacts [moment magnitude (M w) 2.0 to 5.0] are fairer and safer than a single threshold applied over a broad area. Sensitivity tests indicate that the forecast maximum magnitude is the most influential parameter. Our method provides a guideline for traffic light protocols and managing induced seismicity risks.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abg5451

    View details for PubMedID 33926953

  • Low-Magnitude Seismicity With a Downhole Distributed Acoustic Sensing Array-Examples From the FORGE Geothermal Experiment JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Lellouch, A., Schultz, R., Lindsey, N. J., Biondi, B. L., Ellsworth, W. L. 2021; 126 (1)
  • Sequential Fault Reactivation and Secondary Triggering in the March 2019 Red Deer Induced Earthquake Swarm GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Wang, J., Li, T., Gu, Y., Schultz, R., Yusifbayov, J., Zhang, M. 2020; 47 (22)
  • Risk-Informed Recommendations for Managing Hydraulic Fracturing-Induced Seismicity via Traffic Light Protocols BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Schultz, R., Beroza, G., Ellsworth, W., Baker, J. 2020; 110 (5): 2411–22

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120200016

    View details for Web of Science ID 000575192300027

  • Hydraulic Fracturing-Induced Seismicity REVIEWS OF GEOPHYSICS Schultz, R., Skoumal, R. J., Brudzinski, M. R., Eaton, D., Baptie, B., Ellsworth, W. 2020; 58 (3)
  • Newly emerging cases of hydraulic fracturing induced seismicity in the Duvernay East Shale Basin TECTONOPHYSICS Schultz, R., Wang, R. 2020; 779
  • Short-Term Hindcasts of Seismic Hazard in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin Caused by Induced and Natural Earthquakes SEISMOLOGICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Ghofrani, H., Atkinson, G. M., Schultz, R., Assatourians, K. 2019; 90 (3): 1420–35

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0220180285

    View details for Web of Science ID 000465502500034

  • A New Year's Day icebreaker: icequakes on lakes in Alberta Canada CANADIAN JOURNAL OF EARTH SCIENCES Kavanaugh, J., Schultz, R., Andriashek, L. D., van der Baan, M., Ghofrani, H., Atkinson, G., Utting, D. J. 2019; 56 (2): 183–200
  • Faults and associated karst collapse suggest conduits for fluid flow that influence hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Galloway, E., Hauck, T., Corlett, H., Pena, D., Schultz, R. 2018; 115 (43): E10003–E10012


    During December 2011, a swarm of moderate-magnitude earthquakes was induced by hydraulic fracturing (HF) near Cardston, Alberta. Despite seismological associations linking these two processes, the hydrological and tectonic mechanisms involved remain unclear. In this study, we interpret a 3D reflection-seismic survey to delve into the geological factors related to these earthquakes. First, we document a basement-rooted fault on which the earthquake rupture occurred that extends above the targeted reservoir. Second, at the reservoir's stratigraphic level, anomalous subcircular features are recognized along the fault and are interpreted as resulting from fault-associated karst processes. These observations have implications for HF-induced seismicity, as they suggest hydraulic communication over a large (vertical) distance, reconciling the discrepancy between the culprit well trajectory and earthquake hypocenters. We speculate on how these newly identified geological factors could drive the sporadic appearance of induced seismicity and thus be utilized to avoid earthquake hazards.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1807549115

    View details for Web of Science ID 000448040500002

    View details for PubMedID 30297421

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6205443

  • The Cross-Correlation and Reshuffling Tests in Discerning Induced Seismicity PURE AND APPLIED GEOPHYSICS Schultz, R., Telesca, L. 2018; 175 (10): 3395–3401
  • Faults and Non-Double-Couple Components for Induced Earthquakes GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Wang, R., Gu, Y., Schultz, R., Chen, Y. 2018; 45 (17): 8966–75
  • Increased likelihood of induced seismicity in highly overpressured shale formations GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Eaton, D. W., Schultz, R. 2018; 214 (1): 751–57

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggy167

    View details for Web of Science ID 000448235200051

  • Subsurface faults inferred from reflection seismic, earthquakes, and sedimentological relationships: Implications for induced seismicity in Alberta, Canada MARINE AND PETROLEUM GEOLOGY Corlett, H., Schultz, R., Branscombe, P., Hauck, T., Haug, K., MacCormack, K., Shipman, T. 2018; 93: 135–44
  • The Geological Susceptibility of Induced Earthquakes in the Duvernay Play GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Pawley, S., Schultz, R., Playter, T., Corlett, H., Shipman, T., Lyster, S., Hauck, T. 2018; 45 (4): 1786–93
  • Hydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in the Duvernay play SCIENCE Schultz, R., Atkinson, G., Eaton, D. W., Gu, Y. J., Kao, H. 2018; 359 (6373): 304–8


    A sharp increase in the frequency of earthquakes near Fox Creek, Alberta, began in December 2013 in response to hydraulic fracturing. Using a hydraulic fracturing database, we explore relationships between injection parameters and seismicity response. We show that induced earthquakes are associated with completions that used larger injection volumes (104 to 105 cubic meters) and that seismic productivity scales linearly with injection volume. Injection pressure and rate have an insignificant association with seismic response. Further findings suggest that geological factors play a prominent role in seismic productivity, as evidenced by spatial correlations. Together, volume and geological factors account for ~96% of the variability in the induced earthquake rate near Fox Creek. This result is quantified by a seismogenic index-modified frequency-magnitude distribution, providing a framework to forecast induced seismicity.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aao0159

    View details for Web of Science ID 000423236700034

    View details for PubMedID 29348233

  • Source characteristics and geological implications of the January 2016 induced earthquake swarm near Crooked Lake, Alberta GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Wang, R., Gu, Y., Schultz, R., Zhang, M., Kim, A. 2017; 210 (2): 979–88

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggx204

    View details for Web of Science ID 000409283300029

  • Fluid Injection and Seismic Activity in the Northern Montney Play, British Columbia, Canada, with Special Reference to the 17 August 2015 M-w 4.6 Induced Earthquake BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Mahani, A., Schultz, R., Kao, H., Walker, D., Johnson, J., Salas, C. 2017; 107 (2): 542–52

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120160175

    View details for Web of Science ID 000402373000004

  • A seismological overview of the induced earthquakes in the Duvernay play near Fox Creek, Alberta JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Schultz, R., Wang, R., Gu, Y., Haug, K., Atkinson, G. 2017; 122 (1): 492–505
  • Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin SEISMOLOGICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Atkinson, G. M., Eaton, D. W., Ghofrani, H., Walker, D., Cheadle, B., Schultz, R., Shcherbakov, R., Tiampo, K., Gu, J., Harrington, R. M., Liu, Y., van der Baan, M., Kao, H. 2016; 87 (3): 631–47

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0220150263

    View details for Web of Science ID 000375047900008

  • Linking fossil reefs with earthquakes: Geologic insight to where induced seismicity occurs in Alberta GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Schultz, R., Corlett, H., Haug, K., Kocon, K., MacCormack, K., Stern, V., Shipman, T. 2016; 43 (6): 2534–42
  • Source analysis of a potential hydraulic-fracturing-induced earthquake near Fox Creek, Alberta GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Wang, R., Gu, Y., Schultz, R., Kim, A., Atkinson, G. 2016; 43 (2): 564–73
  • The Cardston Earthquake Swarm and Hydraulic Fracturing of the Exshaw Formation (Alberta Bakken Play) BULLETIN OF THE SEISMOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA Schultz, R., Mei, S., Pana, D., Stern, V., Gu, Y., Kim, A., Eaton, D. 2015; 105 (6): 2871–84

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0120150131

    View details for Web of Science ID 000365895600004

  • Hydraulic fracturing and the Crooked Lake Sequences: Insights gleaned from regional seismic networks GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Schultz, R., Stern, V., Novakovic, M., Atkinson, G., Gu, Y. 2015; 42 (8): 2750–58
  • Detection Threshold and Location Resolution of the Alberta Geological Survey Earthquake Catalogue SEISMOLOGICAL RESEARCH LETTERS Schultz, R., Stern, V., Gu, Y., Eaton, D. 2015; 86 (2): 385–97

    View details for DOI 10.1785/0220140203

    View details for Web of Science ID 000351327800014

  • An investigation of seismicity clustered near the Cordel Field, west central Alberta, and its relation to a nearby disposal well JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-SOLID EARTH Schultz, R., Stern, V., Gu, Y. 2014; 119 (4): 3410–23
  • Multiresolution imaging of mantle reflectivity structure using SS and (PP')-P-' precursors GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Schultz, R., Gu, Y. J. 2013; 195 (1): 668–83

    View details for DOI 10.1093/gji/ggt266

    View details for Web of Science ID 000325769800050

  • Flexible, inversion-based Matlab implementation of the Radon transform COMPUTERS & GEOSCIENCES Schultz, R., Gu, Y. 2013; 52: 437–42
  • Tracking slabs beneath northwestern Pacific subduction zones EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS Gu, Y., Okeler, A., Schultz, R. 2012; 331: 269–80
  • Mantle reflectivity structure beneath oceanic hotspots GEOPHYSICAL JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Gu, Y., An, Y., Sacchi, M., Schultz, R., Ritsema, J. 2009; 178 (3): 1456–72