Sunday, December 15, 2013

Swam of earthquakes shakes rural Oklahoma

Henry Fountain reported a few days ago in the Environment section of the New York Times.  The headline is "Experts Eye Oil and Gas Industry as Quakes Shake Oklahoma."  The story's dateline is Oklahoma City, but most of the earthquake action lies in the nonmetropolitan counties between Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as the accompanying map suggests.  Photos accompanying the story are of places like Calumet, population 507, and Sparks, population 137.   The report also mentions Love County, population 9,558, and Shawnee, a city of 28,692.

Here's an excerpt that summarizes what is going on quake-wise in Oklahoma where, as in other places, experts think the the culprit may be wastewater disposal in wells.  The wastewater comes from both conventional oil and gas wells and fracking.   
Oklahoma has never been known as earthquake country, with a yearly average of about 50 tremors, almost all of them minor. But in the past three years, the state has had thousands of quakes. This year has been the most active, with more than 2,600 so far, including 87 last week.
This was one of the most emailed stories on for several days after it appeared.  

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