Posted on July 16th, 2014 - We've all heard by now. 7 small to medium sized earthquakes hit central Oklahoma in a 14 hour span this past weekend.
So what is causing this seismic activity? Some people blame Hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking. It is a controversial process in which high-pressure blasts of water mixed with a chemical cocktail are injected into wells to fracture rock and unlock trapped natural gas.
Others say...not so. Energy in Depth, a research group started by the Independent Petroleum Association of America, says
“Despite what you may have heard, hydraulic fracturing has been a safe and proven technology for decades and does not pose a major risk of inducing felt seismic events,” the statement says.
Here’s what Stanford University geophysicist Mark Zoback recently said:
“These microseismic events [from hydraulically fracturing a well] affect a very small volume of rock and release, on average, about the same amount of energy as a gallon of milk falling off a kitchen counter.”
Download EID’s new infographic -“Hydraulic Fracturing and Seismicity: Myth vs. Fact”– to get the full story on seismicity, shale development and underground injection.
So what are we to believe? The best thing to do is to do some research to find out what IS causing this uptick in earthquakes and that's exactly what's happening now.
According to the AP story, Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said the state is experiencing unprecedented earthquake activity and scientists are trying to determine whether the earthquakes are a natural phenomenon or are man-made.
For the full story, see The Associated Press.
We will stay on top of the story and keep you updated on all the latest research.