A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fracking can’t cause larger quakes

Ron De Haan

WattsUpwithThat posted an article on hydraulic fracturing. The Ohio quakes are not related to fracking.

From the article by David Middleton:

"Wow! I woke up Friday morning to news that a 2.0 Md earthquake struck about a mile and a half from my office. I was sleeping at home, about 7 miles from the epicenter, and it didn’t even wake me up. Thirty years as an exploration geophysicist, and I sleep right through my first earthquake!"


"Now… I have yet to hear any journalists, politicians or college professors link this quake to fracking… But I figure they will. So I’ll just preemptively shoot that bit of junk science down. Fracking can trigger extremely minor earthquakes. A 2.0 Md quake is in the realm of possibilities. However, there aren’t any active wells within a 5 km radius (Davis et al., 1995) of this particular quake."


"The Oklahoma Geological Survey recently examined (Holland, 2011) the possible relationship between a swarm of micro-quakes and a fracking operation in Garvin County OK. They concluded that the fracking could have triggered the 1.0 to 2.8 Md temblors. However, the quakes were so insignificant that it was almost impossible to precisely locate the hypocenters. The quakes could have been within 5 km of a fracking operation, they could have been small enough to have been triggered by the fracking operation and they occurred right after one fracking operation. However, the area has frequent seismicity of similar magnitude and no other fracking operations in the field’s 60+ year history have been correlated with induced seismicity."


"You have to get up to more than Md 3.5 before quakes deliver “vibrations similar to the passing of a truck.” The non-palpable seismicity that might result from fracking is less than that of a seismic crew shooting a survey. Fracking can’t cause larger quakes…"

End excerpts.

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