Monday, April 16, 2012

Alyssa Battistoni: Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes? @ Mother Jones

Most earthquakes caused by fracking-related processes are relatively small. But it's possible that wastewater disposal could induce larger earthquakes: A new study by University of Memphis geologist Stephen Horton concludes that a 5.6 quake in Oklahoma last November "was possibly triggered by fluid injection" at nearby wastewater wells. It's not news that deep-earth fluid injection can cause increases in seismic activity: Nearly fifty years ago, scientists traced a series of earthquakes near Denver to huge injections of wastewater at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. And scientists have long observed that the extraction of large quantities of gas, oil, and water from the ground can affect existing stresses in unpredictable ways.

Read more at Mother Jones.

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