Is Fracking Causing All These Earthquakes?

StateImpact Texas found a substantial connection between hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," and the sudden surge in Texas quakes.
Sat July 14, 2012 12:58 am
Flickr | Jeremy Buckingham

Why has the earth in Texas been shaking recently? After a 2.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Keene on Tuesday, StateImpact Texas delved into that question and found that fracking is the likely culprit.

This latest quake came on the heels of six other quakes in Johnson County this month. Terrence Henry and Sheyda Aboii wrote:

Earthquake events have been on the rise in an area that hasn’t really seen a whole lot of quakes in the past . That was before disposal wells were constructed nearby, used to dispose of wastewater from  hydraulic fracturing , or “fracking.” ...

“We’ve been looking at the question of whether the number of earthquakes occurring across the mid-continent has changed in recent years. And we find that there is a statistically significant increase in the rate just over the past several years. And many of these are in areas where we know there is a lot of energy activity,”  U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Bill Ellsworth  tells StateImpact Texas .

The post includes two maps of Johnson County, one depicting fracking activity and other showing locations of recent earthquakes, and suggests there is a connection between the two.

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