Fracking: Earthquakes in Oklahoma Since 1980: 50. In 2013: Roughly 3,000

January 4, 2014 at 8:49 PM 1 comment

Fracking Well Heads via Wikipedia

(Fracking Well Heads via Wikipedia)

For the past three decades, Oklahoma averaged about 50 earthquakes a year. But that number has skyrocketed in the past few years. In 2013 — the state’s most seismically active year ever — there were almost 3,000.

The quakes are small, and they’re concentrated in the central part of the state, where the Erwins live.

Amanda Erwin says that even on a clear day, she knows something’s up when the thunder begins: The chandelier swings, and the walls and bed start rumbling. Her husband, Keith, says the earthquakes remind him of the artillery he used to hear growing up near a military base. And when the sound and shaking fade, the game starts.


“That doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a large earthquake tomorrow, or next month, or next year even. But those probabilities are up very substantially,” says , senior science adviser for earthquake and geologic hazards at the USGS.

He says there’s linking Oklahoma’s earthquakes to the state’s large oil and gas industry. When they drill, toxic fluid from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and other types of drilling is injected deep underground. That can change pressures near fault lines, says , a seismologist at Cornell University.

“We can show that it’s quite reasonable that water flowing from these wells is actually triggering these earthquakes,” Keranen says.


And there’s this:

North Texas Mayor Blames Earthquakes on Fracking.

All Shook Up: Citizens Call for Moratorium on Disposal Wells [Fracking]




Entry filed under: Energy.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Allen Hurley  |  January 9, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    The assumption concerning the origination of earthquakes in the mid-west being man made is just that, “an assumption”. The area has a history of earthquakes at a rate of approximately 50 per year. The current increase, although epic, may be a natural phenomena. Research needs to be carried out to detect the cause or natural occurrence of the quakes. One item surrounding the earthquakes which makes one wonder about what is behind the quakes is the depth of these quakes. Man’s incursion into the subterrane does not always match the depth or proximity of the earthquakes. Truth is always a winner.

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