David Eaton

David Eaton

Department of Geoscience
University of Calgary

Chair title

NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Microseismic System Dynamics

Chair program

Industrial Research Chairs program


Senior Chairholder since 2015


Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to stimulate oil and gas production from low-permeability reservoir rocks by injecting fluids under sufficient pressure to induce fracturing of the rockmass. Microseismic monitoring of fracture growth is key during hydraulic fracturing operations to optimize drainage and to assure containment of fractures within the reservoir; yet, we still need to reach a quantitative understanding of physical processes that link seismically detectable brittle deformation with the development of discrete fractures. In addition, moderate earthquakes are sometimes triggered during or after hydraulic fracturing due to slip on critically stressed faults located within a few kilometres of the treatment zone. Thus, while hydraulic fracturing has been in widespread use for over 50 years, with increasing commercial success, a sustained, rigorous research effort is needed to address urgent scientific, economic and societal issues. Through a combination of geophysical field observations, numerical simulation, signal processing and innovative interpretation methods, this research chair will significantly advance knowledge of hydraulic fracturing technology, with the aim of enhancing unconventional resource recovery while mitigating induced seismicity hazards. The research program is underpinned by a case study of the Duvernay shale in west-central Alberta, an emerging world-class resource play where induced seismicity has been documented and where uniquely comprehensive public-domain geoscientific information is available.

The chairholder, Professor David Eaton, is an internationally renowned seismologist whose past work has helped to develop improved microseismic technology for hydraulic fracture monitoring and, more broadly, to understand the architecture and geological evolution of continents. He has track record of scientific leadership and successful management of national and international research initiatives, drawing from a wealth of research experience spanning industry, government, and academia. His trainees have gone on to pursue successful careers in all of these sectors.

By contributing critical knowledge to identify and mitigate hazards, support regulatory practice and enhance cost-effective development of abundant unconventional resources, this program will provide significant benefit to Canadians. The partner organization will directly benefit from the Chair’s research and will have the opportunity to work with skilled graduates in the Chair program whose specialized knowledge is directly relevant to best practices for unconventional resource development using hydraulic fracturing techniques.


  • Chevron Canada Resources Limited

Contact information

Department of Geoscience
University of Calgary
844 Campus Place NW
2500 University Drive NW
Calgary, Alberta
T2N 1N4

Tel.: 403-220-4233
Fax: 403-284-0074


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