earthquakes

Environment
4:25 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Oklahomans Feel Way More Earthquakes Than Californians; Now They Know Why

Austin Holland, research seismologist at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, gestures to a chart of Oklahoma earthquakes in June 2014 as he talks about recent earthquake activity at his offices at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Okla. The state had three times as many earthquakes as California last year.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:25 pm

A magnitude-3.0 earthquake is small, but most people can feel it. Historically, Oklahoma got less than two of those a year, but in 2013 it became two a week.

It's only gotten more active since then — last year, the state had three times as many earthquakes as in the entire seismically active state of California.

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Environment
9:15 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

PBS Newshour: Oklahoma Links Earthquakes To Oil And Gas Industry Wastewater

The Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday it is "very likely" that most of the state's recent earthquakes were triggered by the subsurface injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.

StateImpact Oklahoma's Joe Wertz appeared on the PBS News Hour with Gwen Ifill tonight to talk about the connection.

Here & Now
1:47 pm
Wed April 22, 2015

Geologists Link Oklahoma Earthquakes To Fracking Waste Disposal

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 2:24 pm

The Oklahoma Geological Survey said Tuesday it is “very likely” that most of the state’s recent earthquakes were triggered by the subsurface injection of wastewater from oil and natural gas drilling operations.

Geologists have been studying the cause of hundreds of earthquakes that have shaken the homes and the nerves of residents in central and north-central Oklahoma, where the pace of oil and gas drilling has accelerated in recent years.

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Environment
2:23 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

On Point: Fracking And Earthquakes In Middle America

Until 2008, the state of Oklahoma averaged one or two earthquakes magnitude 3.0 or greater a year. Then the lid blew off those numbers.  Rising year by year. To 20. Then 42. Then hundreds. Last year, Oklahoma had 585 earthquakes that size. This year, it’s on track for more than 700. Walls shake. Bricks fall. It’s nerve-wracking. And, say experts, it’s all about how the state’s energy companies go after oil and gas. And huge volumes of water being pumped deep in the earth. Now the earth is moving.

Headlines
8:15 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Headlines: Oil Revenues Drop, FEMA Says No & ODOT Studies Earthquakes

Headlines for Tuesday, April 7, 2015:

  • Declining oil prices cuts into Oklahoma’s revenue collections. (NewsOK)

  • FEMA refuses a disaster declaration for Tulsa and Cleveland Counties after tornadoes last month. (Tulsa World)

  • The State Department of Transportation is looking into earthquake effects on bridges. (Journal Record)

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1:32 pm
Sat April 4, 2015

As Quakes Rattle Oklahoma, Fingers Point to Oil and Gas Industry

The New York Times reports on Oklahoma's rise in earthquakes and the possible links to the booming oil and gas industry.
PRAGUE, Okla. - Yanked without warning from a deep sleep, Jennifer Lin Cooper, whose family has lived near here for more than a half-century, could think only that the clamor enveloping her house was coming from a helicopter landing on her roof. She was wrong.
StateImpact Oklahoma
3:34 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

State Geological Survey Stayed Silent After Linking Oklahoma Quakes to Oil Industry

Austin Holland with the Oklahoma Geological Survey briefs Corporation Commissioners on new earthquake research.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Despite long-held suspicions that the state’s earthquake surge was linked to oil and gas activity, the Oklahoma Geological Survey stayed silent amid pressure from oil company executives, EnergyWire reports.

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Energy
4:51 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

With Quakes Spiking, Oil Industry Is Under The Microscope In Oklahoma

A functioning oil rig sits in front of the capital building in Oklahoma City, Okla. The oil industry is an important employer in the state, but officials are concerned a technique used to dispose of wastewater from oil extraction is behind a surge in earthquakes here.
Frank Morris KCUR

Originally published on Tue February 17, 2015 12:24 pm

Out on Oklahoma's flat prairie, Medford, population about 900, is the kind of place where people give directions from the four-way stop in the middle of town.

It seems pretty sedate, but it's not. "We are shaking all the time," says Dea Mandevill, the city manager. "All the time."

The afternoon I stopped by, Mandevill says two quakes had already rumbled through Medford.

"Light day," she laughs. But, she adds, "the day's not over yet; we still have several more hours."

Mandevill may be laughing it off, but Austin Holland, the state seismologist, isn't.

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StateImpact Oklahoma
3:37 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

Frequent Small Earthquakes Raise Risk of Bigger Ones in Oklahoma, Study Suggests

USGS geophysicist William Ellsworth.
Credit Michael Digg;es / U.S. Geological Survey

The daily occurrence of small earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling in Oklahoma increases the likelihood of larger earthquakes, new research suggests.

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Environment
5:24 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Southern California's Water Supply Threatened By Next Major Quake

The California Aqueduct carries water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Southern California. It is one of four aqueducts in the region that glide across the San Andreas Fault.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 27, 2015 6:30 pm

Southern California gets the vast majority of its water from four aqueducts that flow from the north, but all of them cross the San Andreas Fault.

That means millions of people are just one major earthquake away from drying out for a year or more.

"It's a really concerning issue for the city of Los Angeles," says Craig Davis, an engineer with the LA Department of Water and Power, which oversees the LA aqueduct.

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