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Old 10-02-2012, 08:48 PM   #1
kentatm
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Default Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

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Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas over the weekend appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says.

Preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) show the first quake, a magnitude 3.4, hit at 11:05 p.m. CDT on Saturday a few miles southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. It was followed 4 minutes later by a 3.1-magnitude aftershock that originated nearby.

A third, magnitude-2.1 quake trailed Saturday's rumbles by just under 24 hours, touching off at 10:41 p.m. CDT on Sunday from an epicenter a couple miles east of the first, according to the USGS. The tremors set off a volley of 911 calls, according to Reuters, but no injuries have been reported.

Not a coincidence

Before a series of small quakes on Halloween 2008, the Dallas area had never recorded a magnitude-3 earthquake, said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics. USGS data show that, since then, it has felt at least one quake at or above a magnitude 3 every year except 2010.

Frohlich said he doesn't think it's a coincidence that an intensification in seismic activity in the Dallas area came the year after a pocket of ground just south of (and thousands of feet below) the DFW airport began to be inundated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

During hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," millions of gallons of high-pressure, chemical-laden water are pumped into an underground geologic formation (the Barnett Shale, in the case of northern Texas) to free up oil. But once fractures have been opened up in the rock and the water pressure is allowed to abate, internal pressure from the rock causes fracking fluids to rise back to the surface, becoming what the natural gas industry calls "flowback," according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

"That's dirty water you have to get rid of," said Frohlich. "One way people do that is to pump it back into the ground."

In a study he recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Frohlich analyzed 67 earthquakes recorded between November 2009 and September 2011 in a 43.5-mile (70 kilometers) grid covering northern Texas' Barnett Shale formation. He found that all 24 of the earthquakes with the most reliably located epicenters originated within 2 miles (3.2 km) of one or more injection wells for wastewater disposal.

The injection well just south of DFW airport has been out of use since September 2011, according to Frohlich, but he says that doesn't rule it out as a cause of the weekend's quakes. He explained that, though water is no longer being added, lingering pressure differences from wastewater injection could still be contributing to the lubrication of long-stuck faults.

"Faults are everywhere. A lot of them are stuck, but if you pump water in there, it reduces friction and the fault slips a little," Frohlich told Life's Little Mysteries. "I can't prove that that's what happened, but it's a plausible explanation."

History of human-induced earthquakes

Oliver Boyd, a USGS seismologist and an adjunct professor of geophysics at the University of Memphis, agrees that, in general, links between wastewater injection and seismic activity are plausible.

"Most, if not all, geophysicists expect induced earthquakes to be more likely from wastewater injection rather than hydrofracking," Boyd wrote in an email to Life's Little Mysteries. "This is because the wastewater injection tends to occur at greater depth where earthquakes are more likely to nucleate. I also agree [with Frohlich] that induced earthquakes are likely to persist for some time (months to years) after wastewater injection has ceased."

For past examples of likely human-induced earthquakes, Boyd points to the story of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, a now-closed U.S. Army chemical weapons manufacturing center that operated just outside of Denver until the early '90s.

In 1961, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal drilled a 12,000-foot-deep (3,658 meters) waste fluid disposal well near Denver. According to the USGS, "an unusual series of earthquakes erupted in the area soon after."

Use of the well was discontinued in February 1966. A year and a half later, on Aug. 9, 1967, a 5.3-magnitude earthquake, the most powerful in Denver's history, struck. It was followed by a 5.2-magnitude quake in the region that November, according to the USGS.


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but of course the energy industry will deny this and say we need more studies.

come on Hawker, come tell us why this guy can't possibly be onto something.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:55 PM   #2
jaydacris
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

hawker is one dirty mother fracker!
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

Wasn't there some Texas town that had like 7 earthquakes recently?
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

I heard about this last week and I almost didn't believe it. I live pretty close to the epicenter of one of the earthquakes. I was awake when it happened and didn't feel a thing.
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Old 10-03-2012, 12:36 AM   #5
DeuceWallaces
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

Lol, that made it into PNAS; I don't think too many more studies will be needed. That's some big time shit.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #6
JtotheIzzo
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

In before Doomsday blames it on the Hadron collider.

In before Hawkboy spews the oil rant.

In before God has Texas swallowed for being such backwards ass hillbillies and perverting his good word.

(just kidding, love me some Texas)
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:39 AM   #7
johndeeregreen
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

So per the article, earthquakes are linked to the improper disposal of wastewater, not the fracturing process. Incredibly misleading thread title.

Additionally:

Quote:
"I can't prove that that's what happened, but it's a plausible explanation."

OK, so we have no proof, but let's get up in arms about it and say that anyone saying more research is necessary is a piece of shit and blame fracing (even though the article has nothing to do with fracing, only mentions it because it grabs so much publicity to vilify it right now).

Last edited by johndeeregreen : 10-03-2012 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 10-03-2012, 01:45 AM   #8
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

And Kent, everyone here knows you're smarter than this. In one breath you say anyone wanting more research is a prick, and in the next you say the guy "may be on to something" (ie more research is ABSOLUTELY necessary). Come on dude, if you expect us to believe you're that narrow-minded and simple it isn't working. We all know you're an intelligent person.

And again, allow me to reiterate, fracturing has nothing to do with disposing of the water you pump underground.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I was on a frac job. No earthquakes which is weird since the thread title says different.

JDG right as usual. Author inserts "fracking" into article to create more of a buzz, publicity and get more views.

And the Barnett Shale is primarily a gas reservoir; not oil. Another fail by the author.

The explanation does seem plausible...I will admit that. Definitely needs to have more studies done.

And of course kentatm will say we're just doing it for the money and dgaf about anybody as he continues to drive a car and cook on his natural gas stove.
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Old 10-03-2012, 03:43 AM   #10
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

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"Most, if not all, geophysicists expect induced earthquakes to be more likely from wastewater injection rather than hydrofracking,"

Says it right there in the article. STEP IT UP KENT.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

Kentatm is MIA.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:38 PM   #12
kentatm
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says



dont give me that MIA junk just b/c I didnt answer fast enough when you took a while to respond.

I dont live on ISH you know. Sorry I didnt see it get bumped before.

of course I can read the article where the guy says right in there he can't prove shit and that was due to the water getting pumped back into the ground.

lol learn to take a tweet to the nipples brah.

I posted this exactly b/c I knew it would draw you out.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

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Originally Posted by kentatm


dont give me that MIA junk just b/c I didnt answer fast enough when you took a while to respond.

I dont live on ISH you know. Sorry I didnt see it get bumped before.

of course I can read the article where the guy says right in there he can't prove shit and that was due to the water getting pumped back into the ground.

lol learn to take a tweet to the nipples brah.

I posted this exactly b/c I knew it would draw you out.

Knowing your general opinions in regards to the oil and gas industry, this post is BS.
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Old 10-05-2012, 05:47 PM   #14
kentatm
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

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Originally Posted by Balla_Status
Knowing your general opinions in regards to the oil and gas industry, this post is BS.



no it isnt

I originally was going to bold the part where the guy said he couldnt prove anything but I thought it made it too obvious a troll.

come on. dont be such a tight ass.
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Old 10-05-2012, 06:38 PM   #15
Crystallas
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Default Re: Unusual Dallas Earthquakes Linked to Fracking, Expert Says

Better stop drinking well-water too. Might cause an earthquake.
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