Oklahoma has been bombarded with 7 earthquakes in 14 hours
The United States Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma over the course of about fourteen hours this weekend. This is just one example of a growing trend in Oklahoma, Texas, and Kansas in which earthquakes are becoming a daily occurrence. Scientists are still unsure what exactly is causing this massive increase in earthquakes, but there are some who believe that hydraulic fracturing is the cause.
Hydraulic fracturing is a method of oil and gas drilling where water, sand, and chemicals are blasted deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas. This method has been known to cause microquakes, but they’re rarely strong enough to be measured by seismological equipment. However, this process also produces vast amounts of wastewater which is pumped into injection wells thousands of feet underground. Some scientists have theorized that this could trigger earthquakes by increasing underground pressures and lubricating faults.
A research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Austin Holland, says that his agency is keeping a close watch on the earthquakes in order to determine whether they’re being caused by people or just a natural phenomenon. He pointed out that, while hydraulic fracturing has been used in the state for quite some time, the increase in earthquakes didn’t begin until around 2009.
Regardless, hundreds of central Oklahoma residents are urging regulators to put a stop to the underground wastewater disposal. With 2.0 to 5.0 magnitude earthquakes happening on a regular basis, people are starting to get fed up. Red more about this story here.