Is fracking causing Oklahoma Earthquakes?

2 145

oklahoma earthquakes

O! And WTF?!

Oklahoma has now surpassed California in the number of earthquakes felt this year!

The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded eight small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of about 30 hours.

Through May of this year, they experienced 145 with a magnitude of 3.0 or higher. And just last weekend there were four at 3.0 or higher… and around 2a.m. Tuesday morning there was yet another one! Geologists are warning that a big one (bigger than the 5.6 quake in 2011) is on the way. 

Is the steep increase in Oklahoma earthquakes related to fracking? Or is it merely a coincidence?

In this week’s Green Divas myEARTH360 Report, we pondered this somewhat freaky uptick in quakes. Oklahoma is known for its tornado alley location, not its fault lines. Listen here…

The stats…

(includes only 1.5 or greater magnitude Oklahoma earthquakes):

  • 27 earthquakes in the past 7 days
  • 122 earthquakes in the past month
  • 847 earthquakes in the past year

Here’s what makes all this seismic activity a bit suspicious: From two to six normally recorded per year during 1972-2008 and in 2010, 1,047 tremors were recorded with 103 powerful enough to be felt.

The debate about whether all these Oklahoma earthquakes have anything to do with fracking isn’t new. National Geographic’s Joe Eaton wrote this back in March of 2013:

Advanced methods of oil and gas drilling create massive amounts of toxic wastewater. For example, hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, uses high-pressure water to unlock natural gas from shale formations. Drillers also use water to force oil from wells that cannot be captured through traditional methods, part of a practice known as “enhanced oil recovery.” (See related interactive: “Breaking Fuel from the Rock.”)

The use of such methods has exploded in the United States in recent years, contributing to the domestic boom in shale gas and oil production. Much of the wastewater that emerges as a byproduct is pumped into wells beneath the earth’s surface for disposal.

Although the controversial practice of fracking has been directly linked to at least two seismic events (small tremors in Garvin County, Oklahoma and Lancashire, England), the wastewater injection that follows fracking is much more likely to set the earth shaking. That’s because injection wells receive far more water than fracking sites, said Katie Keranen, lead author of the Geology study. And unlike at fracking sites, the water is not removed. As pressure builds in these disposal wells, it pushes up against geological faults, sometimes causing them to rupture, setting off an earthquake. (See related blog post: “Tracing Links Between Fracking and Earthquakes.”)

This June CBS News toured an Oklahoma home and during the visit, a 3.8-magnitude earthquake struck 10 miles away.

Take Action!

Click here to sign the No Fracking Now petition.

Bonus:

Listen to the latest Green Divas Radio Show
 

Earth News, Environment, GD Ticker, Green Divas Radio Show, GreenDivas myEARTH360 report, Renewable Energy, sustainability

About the author / 

Green Diva Lynn

Lynn Hasselberger is The Green Divas Managing Editor and Associate Producer of the GD Radio Show. She lives in Chicagoland with her son, husband and two cats. She loves sunrises, running, yoga, chocolate, and NYR, and has a voracious appetite for comedy. In her spare time, she blogs at myEARTH360.com and LynnHasselberger.com. A treehugger and social media addict, you'll most likely find Lynn on twitter (@LynnHasselbrgr & @myEARTH360) and facebook. She hopes to make the world a better place, have more fun, re-develop her math skills and overcome her fear of public speaking.

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Current ye@r *

green divas peace out meditation series subscription/giveaway banner link

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

A Fierce Green Fire

Spanning 50 years of grassroots and global activism, this Sundance documentary brings to light the vital stories of the environmental movement where people fought – and succeeded – against enormous odds. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to fighting toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace to Chico Mendes; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization, A Fierce Green Fire is “nothing less than the history of environmentalism itself.” (Los Angeles Times). Official Selection Sundance Film Festival.

green divas radio show on iheart radio
green divas myearth360 report on iheart radio
green divas foodie-philes on iheart radio
green divas green dudes on iheart radio
GVK by green divas on iheart radio
green divas on stitcher

Yekra Player

Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Occupy Love

Join acclaimed director Velcrow Ripper (Scared Sacred, Fierce Light) on a journey deep inside the revolution of the heart that is erupting around the planet, as he asks the question, “How could the crisis we are facing become a love story?”

Occupy Love explores the growing realization that the dominant system of power is failing to provide us with health, happiness or meaning. The old paradigm that concentrates wealth, founded on the greed of the few, is causing economic and ecological collapse. The resulting crisis has become the catalyst for a profound awakening:  millions of people are deciding that enough is enough –  the time has come to create a new world, a world that works for all life.

The film connects the dots in this era of rapidly evolving social change, featuring captivating insider scenes from the Egyptian Revolution, the Indignado uprising in Spain, Occupy Wall Street in New York, the environmental movement and beyond. Woven throughout the action oriented backbone of the film is a deep exploration of public love, and compelling stories of an emerging new paradigm. It features some of the world’s key visionaries on alternative systems of economics, sustainability, and empathy, including Naomi Klein, Bill McKibben, Jeremy Rifkin, and bell hooks.

Occupy Love is a moving, transformative, heartfelt film, featuring Ripper’s signature stunning visuals and rich soundscapes. A powerful cinematic experience leaves viewers inspired.

Share Green with the Green Divas

like what you see here? share some green to help the Green Diva team - we are very grateful for all your generous support!

Spambot blocker question

5 + 6 =

btn_itunes

btn_itunes

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected
Contact Us link

don't miss a GD thing!

Get all the latest GD news . . .

  • Green Divas myEARTH360 Reports
  • Green Divas Foodie-Phile Recipes
  • Green Divas DIY Tutorials
  • Green Dude Stuff
  • . . .
  • your email is safe with us!