earthquakes

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The uptick in seismic activity in Oklahoma is featured in an Oct. 2  National Geographic article that takes a look at the increase in earthquakes induced by such human activities as fracking.

According to the article, a recent study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters identified 730 sites where human activity caused earthquakes over the past 150 years.

The fight over an oil-related waste disposal well in Kansas’ Flint Hills has broadened into a campaign to protest similar wells across several counties and lobby lawmakers for regulatory changes.

ARS TECHNICA

A Stanford University study last year predicted fewer earthquakes in Oklahoma given there was less oil and gas drilling activity, but as State Impact reports, new research indicates that while there have been fewer earthquakes in Oklahoma, the likelihood of stronger earthquakes has doubled.

Sarah&Boston / Flickr Creative Commons

After a bit of a seismic hiatus, earthquakes returned full force to Oklahoma last week, reports KOTV.

Beginning Tuesday night, Oklahoma was pummeled by at least 11 different earthquakes of magnitude three or higher, according to the United States Geological Survey.

No major damage was reported.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

New research suggests the strongest earthquake in Oklahoma history may have been caused by hydraulic fracturing that occurred years before the event itself, StateImpact Oklahoma reports.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A new study has found that the most practical way to deal with leftover wastewater from fracking sites is to reuse the water rather than simply disposing of it. As StateImpact reports, the report from the Produced Water Working Group suggests that wastewater injection can be reduced by reuse.

ARS TECHNICA

A federal judge last week moved to dismiss a lawsuit that environmental group Sierra Club filed against Oklahoma energy companies over earthquakes linked to oil and gas activity.

As KOSU reports, the Sierra Club filed the lawsuit last year in hopes the U.S. court would find Chesapeake Energy, Devon Energy and New Dominion violated federal waste management laws by operating injection wells that contributed to earthquake activity in the state.

While scientists have gained a clearer understanding of what's causing recent earthquakes in the Great Plains, they haven't reached a point where people can let their guard down. That's according to Heather DeShon, associate professor and seismologist at Southern Methodist University.

"The earthquakes in Oklahoma and parts of Kansas ... have been linked to a process called wastewater injection," she says.

In that process, large volumes of salty, briny water are deposited into cavities in deep rock layers, says DeShon.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma continues to see a drop in the frequency of earthquakes in the state, after fracking regulation was put in place to quell the seismic activity.

But, as The Wichita Eagle reports, regulators are working to ensure that the number of earthquakes doesn’t rise again in the Sooner State.

NewsOK.com

This week Oklahoma regulators released new regulations in hopes of further reducing the frequency of earthquakes in the Sooner State.

As The Oklahoman reports, this "fracking" plan is an expansion of previous responses to earthquakes linked to wastewater disposal wells. Recently the state has seen rapid development in the SCOOP and STACK formations in west central and south central Oklahoma. Almost half of Oklahoma’s 78 drilling rigs are in those two areas.

Ars Technica

Oklahoma could be in for a lot less shaking according to a research study that shows earthquake activity slows as wastewater injection is reduced.

Ars Technica

Oklahoma’s earthquake rate has declined significantly since late May, reports Ars Technica. And things should be improving even further, according to a new study from Stanford University.

The improvement comes after the Oklahoma Corporation Commission ordered wastewater injections to be reduced earlier this year.

Ars Technica

Attorneys in Oklahoma are laying the groundwork for a massive class action lawsuit surrounding the recent profusion of earthquakes in the Sooner State.

AP photo/The Oklahoman

There are very few corners of America’s oil and gas industry that are abuzz with prospects for a bright future these days.

But one of them is the niche market for dirty-water disposal in Oklahoma.

The market is worth about $3 billion, and as Bloomberg reports, Brian Kalt thinks he has it cornered.

NB/Reuters

Oklahoma’s earthquake victims have joined forces, and now they’re demanding action from their lawmakers.

As KFOR reports, last week, a group of homeowners  who have been terrorized by the quakes gathered at the state capitol, asking to be heard.

Sue Ogrocki / The Wichita Eagle

The 5.8-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma last month raised some big questions for Kansas geologist Tandis Bidgoli.

“I was very concerned,” Bidgoli said, “because it didn’t appear there were any foreshocks to that event.”

Cori Duke / KJRH

A prominent Oklahoma geologist says, when it comes to earthquakes, the trouble could come from unknown quarters. Specifically, the director of the Oklahoma Geological Survey is worried about what scientists don’t understand about geology.

Hutchinson News

The severity and frequency of earthquakes in Colorado appears to be lessening, reports The Hutchinson News.

In the past three weeks, there has been just one quake of magnitude 2.0 or greater in the Sunflower State. Only one resident in the state felt that earthquake, which was centered underneath Anthony’s Forest Park Cemetery.

Getty Images

Oklahoma now has more earthquakes than any state in the lower 48, including California. And, as CNBC reports, the cause of all this shaking appears to be manmade. But can anything be done?

fivethirtyeight

In early 1952 an Oklahoma City petroleum geologist named William Atkinson raised eyebrows by purchasing earthquake insurance for his home.

His odd decision looked like a bit of psychic brilliance a month later. In April of that year Oklahoma City experienced a powerful earthquake—the most powerful in the state’s history until last week.

Kool Cats Photography / Flickr Creative Commons

Last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma has now been upgraded to a 5.8, making it the highest magnitude earthquake in the state’s history.

In the wake of this massive quake, CNN Money has published an overview of what we know about these quakes.

USGS

Oklahoma fracking operations are facing a potential backlash in the wake of last week’s 5.6-magnitude earthquake, Bloomberg reports.

Last year, Oklahoma had almost 900 earthquakes of magnitude three or higher. Earlier this year Oklahoma regulators limited the disposal of oilfield wastewater in the state, hoping to prevent seismic activity. But this latest quake may trigger calls for more limits on wastewater wells in the state.

Rural Blog

It’s no secret wastewater injection wells linked to fracking have led to a staggering rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma and Kansas. But now, notes The Rural Blog, oil and gas companies appear to have discovered a method to reduce man-made seismic activity.

Sue Ogrocki / AP photo

The number of earthquakes in Oklahoma has fallen 25% this year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The decline comes after the state’s efforts to curb the oil and gas industry’s practice of pumping wastewater from its underground operations.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Last week Reuters found that Oklahoma state officials tried to protect oil companies from blame after earthquakes shook the state. Now StateImpact Oklahoma reveals via Reuters that the state’s fracking boom created new oil millionaires.

Nick Oxford / Reuters

As Oklahoma’s earthquake frequency exploded, so did the rates of insurance companies covering the damages. Reuters reporter Luc Cohen recently examined thousands of pages of documents from the Oklahoma Insurance Commission.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

As fracking activity in Oklahoma proliferated, the frequency of earthquakes in the state began to skyrocket. And as the quakes increased, so did the tension between federal and state researchers about the causes of the rumbling. So StateImpact Oklahoma decided to take a closer look at that feud. What they found was unsettling, though perhaps unsurprising to many. As earthquake activity spiked, federal scientists with the U.S.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The staggering frequency of earthquakes in Oklahoma has caused many problems, not all of them having to do with geology. The state has now come up with a way to settle disputes that arise because of regulatory actions issued to reduce quakes, reports StateImpact.

KFOR.com

Officials in Oklahoma are now using advanced technology in an attempt to get ahead of the spate of earthquakes caused by fracking and wastewater disposal by oil and gas companies. The technology is much needed, as the third largest earthquake in state history was recorded last month.

New seismic sensors have now been put in place to locate and determine the size of the nearest fault line to the big quake’s location in Fairview, reports KFOR. The Oklahoma Geological Survey has also installed a broadband seismometer, an instrument that locates earthquake sources.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has approved the transfer of well over a million dollars from the state emergency fund to strengthen Oklahoma’s earthquake response. The money will go toward researching the state’s recent earthquake surge, and toward regulating the oil and gas activity that’s likely causing it.

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