Monday, January 04, 2016

Another Induced Quake in Oklahoma

A 4.2 tremor hit Oklahoma City's metro area on New Year's Day, the latest in a recent series of tremors in the area. There were no injuries and only minor property damage, but there were 4,400 power outages. Oklahoma has experienced a sharp increase in the number of earthquakes in excess of 3.0 since intensive fracking operations began. Geologists think waste water injection into disused wells is pressurizing and lubricating exist faults causing quakes to increase in frequency from a few dozen in 2012 to more than 800 in 2015.  State regulators may begin reducing the volume of waste water injected, or shutting down disposal wells. There is no data directly connecting the latest Edmond quakes with wastewater disposal according to the state's oil and gas division. The strongest quake on record in Oklahoma is a magnitude 5.6 centered on Prague, OK in November 2011 that damaged 200 buildings.