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Featured Fracking=Earthquakes?

Discussion in 'News & Current Events' started by plain_n_simple, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple Active Member

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    Are Oil and Gas Industries Behind the Rare Texas Earthquakes?
    Scientists probe injection wells, with possible ties to fracking, in search for cause

    Brian Clark Howard

    National Geographic

    Published January 7, 2015

    Updated Thursday 12:30 p.m. ET.
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    A rare series of earthquakes in northern Texas has residents asking if oil and gas activities are responsible for the shaking, which has left people rattled but did not cause significant damage or injuries.

    A series of nine earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.6 to 3.6 shook the Dallas region over a period of less than 24 hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday. The shaking was felt in Dallas, Irving, and surrounding towns. Residents of those areas have flooded Twitter with accusations that the quakes were caused by oil and gas activity.

    Scientists say they won't know the cause of the temblors for perhaps a year, but that it's possible industrial activities could have played a role. A scientific study published this week concluded that several small earthquakes near Youngstown, Ohio, in March were caused by fracking activities near a fault.

    In Texas, "it's premature to speculate on the causes of the earthquakes," says Brian Stump, a seismologist and professor at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, who is studying the recent temblors.

    Earthquakes in the area had been virtually unknown until relatively recently. "If we go back prior to October of 2008, the historical record indicates there might have been one earthquake in 1950, but that was about it," says Stump.

    Since then, there have been more than a hundred seismic events in the area, known as the Fort Worth Basin.

    Stump and other scientists have published research finding "a plausible link" between some recent earthquakes and waste injection wells in the area. The wells are created by shooting polluted water from fracking or other industrial activities deep into the earth, often at high pressure, to dispose of the waste. (Learn about a possible link between a rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma and injection wells.)

    But the seismologist notes that "there are those that disagree" with his findings.

    Stump is part of a team that's deploying instruments in the area to better measure the specific characteristics of the earth and to map the area's fault lines. Scientists will then analyze the data over the coming months.

    Tuesday's and Wednesday's quakes are the fourth significant sequence of seismological events since 2008. Other recent quakes have struck near the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and in the northern part of the basin.

    Link to Injection Wells?

    A growing body of research suggests that wastewater injections may lubricate faults and trigger earthquakes, although some industry representatives have downplayed the possibility of a link. (Learn more about fracking and quakes.)

    The Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the oil and gas industry in the state, recently ordered companies to check local seismic records before they open a new waste disposal well. The ruling came after residents of the town of Azle, outside Fort Worth, complained that recent earthquakes there may have been spurred by new injection activities. Scientists are currently studying the question.

    Stump says that it's difficult to link any one earthquake with an injection well. "But by studying a number of events, my hope is that we can come to an understanding of these processes," he says.

    Elizabeth Cochran, a seismologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Pasadena, California, says it often takes about a year of analysis to determine the cause of an earthquake.

    "What we typically do is put out additional instrumentation, which allows us to get better location data, and then we can look at where the faults are in relation to any injection wells and determine how likely it is that a particular sequence is related to that or not," says Cochran, who has studied the link between injection wells and earthquakes in Oklahoma.

    "There have been a number of studies that have pointed toward wastewater injection as a cause, not for every single seismic event but perhaps for a significant portion of those events," says Cochran, pointing to research from Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and elsewhere.

    On top of a significant uptick in Oklahoma earthquakes in recent years, Cochran says she has seen an increase in the number of aftershocks. "That's a fundamental change in tectonic events," she says, "which tend to behave in a predictable way, so it has to be driven by something.

    "It suggests that there could be some sort of forcing, which would potentially point to injection."

    Chad Warmington, president of the Oklahoma Oil and Gas Association, recently told National Geographic that it's too early to know if injection wells are responsible or if the rise in earthquakes in his state is part of a natural cycle.

    "We are concerned about it because we live here, but we don't want to have a knee-jerk reaction and have a bunch of regulation put on us that is not effective in minimizing the risk of seismic activity," he said.

    The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

    The Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, which studies geologic issues for the state, said on Wednesday that it did not have someone available to comment.
     
  2. Use of Time

    Use of Time Well-Known Member
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    There was a link in a recent study in Ohio and people in Oklahoma are also getting antsy due to an unusual uptick in seismic activity in their area. From what I saw on TV a few months ago it isn't the process of fracking that does the most damage but the method in which these companies dispose of the waste water by shooting it via high pressure back into the ground which weakens the bedrock and causes fractures. If this is around a fault line then it can put pressure on it and result in some seismic activity.

    If there any Civil or Environmental engineers on the board here then you may see some stricter permitting requirements pertaining to fracking locations.
     
  3. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple Active Member

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    I've read those too. There is also a groundwater problem in PA because they cannot retrieve all the chemicals used in the process. People can actually light the water coming out of their kitchen faucets!
     
  4. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    You........you don't actually believe this do you? :confused:
     
  5. Use of Time

    Use of Time Well-Known Member
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  6. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    A far more serious question is pumping water for irrigation from the Ogallala Aquifer.
     
  7. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2 Well-Known Member
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    It is highly possible that fracking is leaving the ground susceptible to seismic activity. However, I have always believed that taking anything from the ground beneath our feet is risky. It leaves cavernous gaps that will one-day cause cracking and seismic activity too!

    I guess it is the cost of fossil fuel for powering our cars and heating and lighting our way through this life.

    Hopefully the Lord will return before the ground beneath our feet all gives way to giant sinkholes, swallowing us up and killing off a large portion of earths population, and making the planet smaller in the end! :tonofbricks:
     
  8. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    What about the Ogallala Aquifer?

    Are you against gold-diggers, too?
     
    #8 church mouse guy, Jan 8, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 8, 2015
  9. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple Active Member

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  10. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2 Well-Known Member
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    Hey there CMG. Whoa! I am not your enemy, in fact; I am a confederate in most of your comments and posts. I just gave my opinion on the subject. I am not against getting fuel by whatever means necessary, but I have my concerns about what those means may do to others. I do not know enough about fracking, but if it is behind the earthquakes, maybe they need to pump cement or sand back into the pits and caverns they leave! In fact I have concerns about pumping water too. I believe our drought has caused the same vacated canerns all over California! A reason, possibly, behind all the quakes we continue to have daily!

    What is the answer. Nothing I know of. We need water. And we certainly need fuel oils. I guess all we can do is trust God knows what to do, as it is His planet, after all!
     
    #10 righteousdude2, Jan 9, 2015
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  11. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple Active Member

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  12. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    See this is the problem with debating issues around here. If we can't really defend our own positions then to many of us set up false dichotomy's. There is more than one option here. It does not have to be that "everyone" is lying. Maybe you should try actually investigating all of the issue yourself.
     
  13. church mouse guy

    church mouse guy Well-Known Member
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    Oh, I know that we are friends--I was just sort of putting you on. Most of my girl friends of yesteryear have been gold diggers--so I am sort of against them and the damage that they do to the environment. As for the panhandle and the rest of the west, they have been pumping out underground water for maybe a century--of course some of them put it back in the septic tank.
     
  14. plain_n_simple

    plain_n_simple Active Member

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    Okay, I should not of presumed you were implying everyone lied just because of your position.

    I've been to the houses in PA and have relatives there, met neighbors and others and watched the firewater.

    I met the producer of a documentary on fracking who invited me to Texas to film and hear the stories of others who happen to live near the drilling.

    Yes, I know what I speak by first hand knowledge.
     
  15. Deacon

    Deacon Well-Known Member
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    This is true, it's a natural phenomena that was noticed long before fracking began.

    It's currently being used as propaganda to stop the extraction of oil by fracking.

    Rob
     
  16. Use of Time

    Use of Time Well-Known Member
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  17. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer Well-Known Member
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    The problem with this theory is that there has been no drilling or injection well activity anywhere near the site of these earthquakes (there is one inactive gas well and NO injection wells in Dallas County). Although this sounds like the setup to a joke, the quakes are on the Balcones Fault and centered at the old site of Texas Stadium, which was imploded a few years ago. There is some speculation that the demolition of the stadium loosened up the fault line.

    http://keranews.org/post/after-12-quakes-2-days-scientists-deploy-more-seismographs-irving

    http://dfw.cbslocal.com/2015/01/07/questions-for-texas-earthquake-scientists-why-why-now/
     
  18. Bro. James

    Bro. James Well-Known Member
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    The industrial revolution has seldom, probably never, been a clean operation. It is the nature the process of oxidation-reduction. However, buffalo chips may be cleaner burning than cow chips. Now what?

    Melt with fervent heat and start over--without all the dross. AKA: a new heaven and a new earth--wherein righteousness dwells.

    "Let God be found true; and every man lying"

    We still have a depravity problem.

    Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

    Bro. James.
     
    #19 Bro. James, Jan 9, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 9, 2015
  19. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member
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    Ok you are not paying attention. The firewater is not new. It has been going on long before fracking. It is a natural occurrence.
     
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