David W. Eaton

Professor; NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Microseismic System Dynamics

Department of Geoscience

PhD - Geophysics

University of Calgary, 1992

MSc - Geophysics

University of Calgary, 1988

BSc - Geology and Physics

Queen's University, 1984

Contact information


Office : ES214


GOPH 667
SCIE 507
GOPH 699.70

Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Microseismic Monitoring
  • Induced Seismicity
  • Distributed Acoustic Sensing
  • Physics-Informed Machine Learning
  • Lithospheric Structure
  • Interdisciplinary Education

Research Interests

My current research focuses on induced earthquakes, characterizing microseismic activity associated with enhanced hydrocarbon recovery, as well as seismicity and structure of the Earth’s lithosphere. These projects seek to develop improved technology for surveillance of hydraulic fracturing as well as understanding the architecture and geological evolution of continents. 

Teaching Interests

I have developed and taught courses that include Introduction to Passive Seismic Monitoring of Induced Seismicity, Disruptive Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Geoscience, Responsible Development of Low Permeability Hydrocarbon Resources. I have also taught large classes such as Introduction to Geophysics and Natural Hazards.


Professor David Eaton was appointed 2015-2020 as NSERC/Chevron Industrial Research Chair in Microseismic System Dynamics in the Department of Geoscience at the University of Calgary. Together with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, his work focuses primarily on advancement of research, education and technological innovations in microseismic methods and their practical applications for resource development, with a secondary focus on the deep lithospheric structure of continents. In 2007, he rejoined the University of Calgary as Head of the Department of Geoscience, after an 11-year academic career at the University of Western Ontario. His postdoctoral research experience included work at Arco’s Research and Technical Services (Plano, Texas) and the Geological Survey of Canada (Ottawa). He has recently published a textbook on Passive Seismic Monitoring of Induced Seismicity. His work has been recognized by several major awards including the J. Tuzo Wilson medal from the Canadian Geophysical Union and a 2020 NSERC Synergy Award for Innovation.

New Positions:

Postdoctoral Researcher: In Situ Acoustic Emission Field Studies

A postdoctoral researcher is sought for a 2-year project at the University of Calgary to plan, implement and analyse in situ acoustic emission (AE) field measurements. The objective is to characterize dilatancy and microfracturing (mm to cm scale) induced by small-scale fluid injection into a naturally fractured and stratified rock. A PhD in a relevant discipline and completed in the last 3 years, along with experience in processing and interpretation of AE data.

MSc project: Induced seismicity due to interaction between saltwater disposal and hydraulic fracturing

A MSc student is sought for a 2-year project at the University of Calgary starting in September 2021. The project is aimed at understanding possible stress interactions between fluid disposal and hydraulic fracturing wells. The project will combine geomechanical modelling with analysis of data from local seismograph arrays. A BSc in geophysics or related field is required.


For more information, please contact David Eaton (eatond@ucalgary.ca). 



DW Eaton, 2018. Passive seismic monitoring of induced seismicity: Fundamental principles and application to energy technologies. Cambridge University Press.

Edited book

DW Eaton, B Milkereit, MH Salisbury (editors), 2003. Hardrock seismic exploration. Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Recent Book chapters

DW Eaton, 2020. Seismicity Induced by the Development of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resource. In: J Stoltz, WM Griffin, and DJ Bain (editors), Environmental Impacts from the Development of Unconventional Oil and Gas Reserves, Cambridge University Press (in press). Invited review article.

DW Eaton, X Bao, C Perry, 2018. Frayed Edges of Cratonic Mantle Keels: Thermal Diffusion Timescales and Their Predicted Imprint on Mantle-Velocity Structure. In: H Yuan and B Romanowicz (editors), Lithospheric Discontinuities, 125-138, American Geophysical Union. Invited contribution.

M van der Baan, DW Eaton, M Dusseault, 2013. Microseismic Monitoring Developments in Hydraulic Fracture Stimulation. In: A Bunger, J McLennan, R Jeffrey (editors), Effective and Sustainable Hydraulic Fracturing, DOI: 10.5772/56444.

Selected Journal articles

P Wozniakowska, DW Eaton, 2020, Machine learning-based analysis of geological susceptibility to induced seismicity in the Montney Formation, Canada. Geophysical Research Letters, in press.

N Riazi, DW Eaton, 2020, Anatomy of a buried thrust belt activated during hydraulic fracturing. Tectonophysics, 795, 228640.

M Venieri, PK Pedersen, R Weir, S McKean and DW Eaton, 2020, Determining elastic properties of organic-rich shales from core, wireline logs and 3-D seismic: A comparative study from the Duvernay play, Alberta, Canada: Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, 84, 103637.

M Venieri, PK Pedersen, and DW Eaton, 2020, Predicting unconventional reservoir potential from wireline logs: a correlation between compositional and geomechanical properties of the Duvernay Shale Play of Western Alberta, Canada: AAPG Bulletin, doi.10.1306/10262019042.

X Bao, X Song, DW Eaton, Y Xu, H Chen, 2020, Episodic lithospheric deformation in eastern Tibet inferred from seismic anisotropy:  Geophysical Research Letters 47 (3), e2019GL085721.

GM Atkinson, DW Eaton, N Igonin, 2020, Developments in understanding seismicity triggered by hydraulic fracturing:  Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, 1-14.

R Schultz, RJ Skoumal, MR Brudzinski, DW Eaton, B Baptie, W Ellsworth, 2020, Hydraulic Fracturing-Induced Seismicity:  Reviews of Geophysics 58 (3), e2019RG000695.

G Rodriguez-Pradilla, DW Eaton, 2020, Ground-Motion Analysis of Hydraulic-Fracturing Induced Seismicity at Close Epicentral Distance:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 110 (1), 331-344.

N Riazi, DW Eaton, A Aklilu, A Poulin, 2020, Application of Focal-Time Analysis for Improved Induced Seismicity Depth Control: A Case Study from the Montney Formation, British Columbia, Canada: Geophysics 85 (6), 1-70.

G Rodriguez-Pradilla, DW Eaton, 2020, Automated Microseismic Processing and Integrated Interpretation of Induced Seismicity during a Multistage Hydraulic-Fracturing Stimulation, Alberta, Canada:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110 (5): 2018–2030.

M Zecevic, TS Eyre, DW Eaton, 2020, Static ground displacement for an induced earthquake recorded on broadband seismometers:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110 (5): 2216–2224.

TS Eyre, M Zecevic, RO Salvage, DW Eaton, 2020, A long-lived swarm of hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity provides evidence for aseismic slip:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, 110 (5): 2205–2215.

Y Chen, H Zhang, DW Eaton, 2020, Real-time earthquake location based on the Kalman filter formulation:  Geophysical Research Letters 47 (11), e2019GL086240.

L DiCaprio, T Maiti, J Dettmer, DW Eaton, 2020, Moho Structure Across the Backarc-Craton Transition in the Northern US Cordillera:  Tectonics 39 (2), e2019TC005489.

H Zhang, DW Eaton, G Rodriguez, SQ Jia, 2019, Source-Mechanism Analysis and Stress Inversion for Hydraulic-Fracturing-Induced Event Sequences near Fox Creek, Alberta:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 109 (2), 636-651. (23 citations)

TS Eyre, DW Eaton, DI Garagash, M Zecevic, M Venieri, R Weir and DC Lawton, 2019, The role of aseismic slip in hydraulic fracturing-induced seismicity:  Science Advances 5 (8), eaav7172.

TS Eyre, DW Eaton, M Zecevic, D D’Amico, D Kolos, 2019, Microseismicity reveals fault activation before Mw 4.1 hydraulic-fracturing induced earthquake:  Geophysical Journal International 218 (1), 534-546.

R Weir, D Lawton, L Lines, T Eyre, DW Eaton, 2019, Application of structural interpretation and simultaneous inversion to reservoir characterization of the Duvernay Formation, Fox Creek, Alberta, Canada:  The Leading Edge 38 (2), 151-160.

A Poulin, R Weir, DW Eaton, N Igonin, Y Chen, L Lines, D Lawton, 2019, Focal-time analysis: A new method for stratigraphic depth control of microseismicity and induced seismic events:  Geophysics 84 (6), KS173-KS182.

G Rodriguez-Pradilla, DW Eaton, 2019, The application of coda and energy methods for magnitude estimation of microseismic events:  Seismological Research Letters 90 (3), 1296-1307.

M AbuAisha, DW Eaton, J Priest, R Wong, B Loret, AH Kent, 2019, Fully coupled hydro-mechanical controls on non-diffusive seismicity triggering front driven by hydraulic fracturing:  Journal of Seismology 23 (1), 109-121.

DW Tan, F., Kao, H., Nissen, E. and Eaton, DW, 2019, Seismicity-Scanning based on Navigated Automatic Phase-picking:  Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth 124, https://doi.org/10.1029/2018JB017050.

SH McKean, JA Priest, J Dettmer, DW Eaton, 2019, Quantifying fracture networks inferred from microseismic point clouds by a Gaussian mixture model with physical constraints:  Geophysical Research Letters 46 (20), 11008-11017.

B Maulianda, A Prakasan, RCK Wong, DW Eaton, ID Gates, 2019, Integrated approach for fracture characterization of hydraulically stimulated volume in tight gas reservoir:  Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology 9 (4), 2429-2440.

J Akram, D Peter, DW Eaton, 2019, A k-mean characteristic function for optimizing short- and long-term-average-ratio-based detection of microseismic events:  Geophysics 84 (4), KS143-KS153.

R Schultz, G Atkinson, DW Eaton, YJ Gu, H Kao, 2018, Hydraulic fracturing volume is associated with induced earthquake productivity in the Duvernay play:  Science 359 (6373), 304-308.

DW Eaton, N Igonin, A Poulin, R Weir, H Zhang, S Pellegrino, G Rodriguez, 2018, Induced seismicity characterization during hydraulic-fracture monitoring with a shallow-wellbore geophone array and broadband sensors:  Seismological Research Letters 89 (5), 1641-1651.

Eaton, D. W., & Igonin, N. (2018). What controls the maximum magnitude of injection-induced earthquakes? The Leading Edge, 37(2), 135-140.

DW Eaton, R Schultz, 2018, Increased likelihood of induced seismicity in highly overpressured shale formations:  Geophysical Journal International 214 (1), 751-757. (27 citations)

RM Weir, DW Eaton, LR Lines, DC Lawton, E Ekpo, 2018, Inversion and interpretation of seismic-derived rock properties in the Duvernay play:  Interpretation 6 (2), SE1-SE14.

N Igonin, M Zecevic, DW Eaton, 2018, Bilinear magnitude-frequency distributions and characteristic earthquakes during hydraulic fracturing:  Geophysical Research Letters 45 (23), 12,866-12,874.

SQ Jia, DW Eaton, RCK Wong, 2018, Stress inversion of shear-tensile focal mechanisms with application to hydraulic fracture monitoring:  Geophysical Journal International 215 (1), 546-563.

KJE Boggs, RC Aster, P Audet, G Brunet, RM Clowes, CD de Groot-Hedlin, E Donovan, DW Eaton, J Elliott, JT Freymueller, and MA Hedlin, 2018, EON-ROSE and the Canadian Cordillera Array: Building Bridges to Span Earth System Science in Canada:  Geoscience Canada, 97-109.

YK Yong, B Maulianda, SC Wee, D Mohshim, KA Elraies, RCK Wong, I Gates and DW Eaton 2018, Determination of stimulated reservoir volume and anisotropic permeability using analytical modelling of microseismic and hydraulic fracturing parameters:  Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering 58, 234-240.

S Maghsoudi, J Baro, A Kent, DW Eaton, J Davidsen, 2018, Interevent Triggering in Microseismicity Induced by Hydraulic Fracturing:  Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America 108 (3A), 1133-1146.

H Zhang, DW Eaton, 2018, A regularized approach for estimation of a composite focal mechanism from a set of microearthquakes:  Geophysics 83 (5), KS65-KS75.

MK MacKay, DW Eaton, PK Pedersen, CR Clarkson, 2018, Integration of outcrop, subsurface, and microseismic interpretation for rock-mass characterization: An example from the Duvernay Formation, Western Canada:  Interpretation 6 (4), T919-T936.

PK Pedersen, DW Eaton, 2018, Introduction to special section: Low-permeability resource plays of the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin: Defining the sweet spots:  Interpretation 6 (2), SEi-SEii.

JLJ Duhault, DW Eaton, PK Pedersen, 2018, Microseismic monitoring of a tight light oil reservoir: A case history in the Cardium Halo Play, Alberta:  Interpretation 6 (2), SE39-SE48.

M AbuAisha, DW Eaton, J Priest, R Wong, 2017, Hydro-mechanically coupled FDEM framework to investigate near-wellbore hydraulic fracturing in homogeneous and fractured rock formations:  Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 154, 100-113.

J Akram, DW Eaton, 2017, 1D layered velocity models and microseismic event locations: synthetic examples for a case with a single linear receiver array:  Journal of Geophysics and Engineering 14 (5), 1215-1224.

X Bao, DW Eaton, 2016, Fault activation by hydraulic fracturing in western Canada:  Science 354 (6318), 1406-1409.

GM Atkinson, DW Eaton, H Ghofrani, D Walker, B Cheadle, R Schultz, R Shcherbakov, K Tiampo, J Gu, RM Harrington, Y Liu, 2016, Hydraulic fracturing and seismicity in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin:  Seismological Research Letters 87 (3), 631-647.

J Akram, DW Eaton, 2016, A review and appraisal of arrival-time picking methods for downhole microseismic dataArrival-time picking methods:  Geophysics 81 (2), KS71-KS91.

H Zhang, DW Eaton, G Li, Y Liu, RM Harrington, 2016, Discriminating induced seismicity from natural earthquakes using moment tensors and source spectra:  Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (2), 972-993.

E Caffagni, DW Eaton, JP Jones, M van der Baan, 2016, Detection and analysis of microseismic events using a Matched Filtering Algorithm (MFA):  Geophysical Journal International 206 (1), 644-658.

M AbuAisha, B Loret, DW Eaton, 2016, Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS): Hydraulic fracturing in a thermo-poroelastic framework:  Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 146, 1179-1191.

M van der Baan, DW Eaton, G Preisig, 2016, Stick-split mechanism for anthropogenic fluid-induced tensile rock failure:  Geology 44 (7), 503-506. (Awarded David Elliot prize by GAC)

X Bao, DW Eaton, YJ Gu, 2016, Rayleigh wave azimuthally anisotropic phase velocity maps beneath western Canada:  Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth 121 (3), 1821-1834.

J Akram, DW Eaton, 2016, Refinement of arrival-time picks using a cross-correlation based workflow:  Journal of Applied Geophysics 135, 55-66.

S Maghsoudi, DW Eaton, J Davidsen, 2016, Nontrivial clustering of microseismicity induced by hydraulic fracturing:  Geophysical Research Letters 43 (20), 10,672-10,679.

A Rafiq, DW Eaton, A McDougall, PK Pedersen, 2016, Reservoir characterization using microseismic facies analysis integrated with surface seismic attributes:  Interpretation 4 (2), T167-T181.

JP Jones, DW Eaton, E Caffagni, 2016, Quantifying the similarity of seismic polarizations:  Geophysical Journal International 204 (2), 968-984.

X Bao, X Sun, M Xu, DW Eaton, X Song, L Wang, Z Ding, N Mi, H Li, D Yu, and Z Huang, 2015, Two crustal low-velocity channels beneath SE Tibet revealed by joint inversion of Rayleigh wave dispersion and receiver functions:  Earth and Planetary Science Letters 415, 16-24.

DW Eaton, HKC Perry, 2013, Ephemeral isopycnicity of cratonic mantle keels:  Nature Geoscience 6 (11), 967-970.

DW Eaton, F Forouhideh, 2011, Solid angles and the impact of receiver-array geometry on microseismic moment-tensor inversion:  Geophysics 76 (6), WC77-WC85.

DW Eaton, F Darbyshire, 2010, Lithospheric architecture and tectonic evolution of the Hudson Bay region:  Tectonophysics 480 (1-4), 1-22. 

C Alexandrakis, DW Eaton, 2010, Precise seismic-wave velocity atop Earth's core: No evidence for outer-core stratification:  Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors 180 (1-2), 59-65.

DW Eaton, F Darbyshire, RL Evans, H Grutter, AG Jones, X Yuan, 2009, The elusive lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB) beneath cratons:  Lithos 109 (1-2), 1-22.

DW Eaton, A Frederiksen, 2007, Seismic evidence for convection-driven motion of the North American plate:  Nature 446(7134), 428-431.


St-Onge, A., Eaton, D.W. and Pidlisecky, A., 2012. Assessing stress, strain and fluid pressure in strata surrounding a borehole based on borehole casing resonance, U.S.A., Canada, U.K., United States Patent Application 20130188452, Pending.



  • NSERC Synergy Award of Excellence for Innovation (2020)
  • J. Tuzo Wilson Medal, Canadian Geophysical Union (2020)
  • CSEG Distinguished Lecturer (2019)
  • Distinguished Collaborator, Schulich School of Engineering (2019)
  • Established Career Research Award, Faculty of Science (2017)
  • Co-recipient of David Elliot Prize for Best paper in Canadian Structure and Tectonics (2016)
  • Great Supervisor, Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Calgary (2016)
  • Department of Geoscience Research Award, University of Calgary (2015)
  • NSERC Discovery Accelerator Award (2011)
  • Faculty Scholar, University of Western Ontario (2007)
  • Premier's Research Excellence Award, Province of Ontario (2000)