Texas Is The Latest State To See A Spike In Wastewater-Related Earthquakes

Nov 26, 2017

Water tanks preparing for a frac job
Credit Joshua Doubek / Wikimedia Commons

Fracking operations in Texas have awakened sleeping fault lines, leading to a spate of unprecedented earthquakes across the northern part of the state, reports Scientific American.

The appearance of the quakes echoes recent history in Oklahoma. As with its neighbor to the north, the frequency of earthquakes in Texas has grown year by year since the introduction of wastewater injection from hydraulic fracturing operations.

And just as Oklahoma officials initially refused to acknowledge a link between fracking and the seismic activity, so too have Texas lawmakers been reluctant to officially accepted a cause-and-effect link between wastewater disposal and earthquakes.

Since 2008, Texas has seen a sixfold spike in seismic events occurring in faults that have showed no activity for 300 million years.