Fracking implicated in Ohio earthquakes

by Anonymous on Jan. 05th, 2012

Ohio Earthquakes: evidence links recent tremors to fracking.
Ohio Earthquakes: evidence links recent tremors to fracking.Courtesy USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
The dumping of waste-water used in the process known as fracking is suspected of causing recent earthquakes in Ohio. Two minor tremors (magnitude (2.7 and 4.2) were felt over the holidays in the Youngstown area which is about 50 miles east of Akron. Hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) is the process of extracting natural gas from rock deposits by fracturing the rock with high-pressure liquid injections. Waste water from the fracking process gets disposed underground into deep wells. The discarded water seeps into strike-slip faults several kilometers beneath the surface where it builds up pressure and also acts as a lubricant. allowing the rock on both sides of the fault to move more easily past each other, resulting in an earthquake. Smaller quakes had been detected in the area during the past year so Ohio's DNR requested Columbia University's Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) to set up portable seismographs in the area. Four of the sensitive instruments were installed on Novermber 30 within a half-mile of the injection site. The seismograph recordings showed that the two holiday quakes were centered within 100 meters of each other, implicating the disposal process as the catalyst. While scientists make further study of the problem, fracking has been discontinued at the injection site.

SOURCES
Scientific American story
New Scientist story

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olivia orthaus's picture
olivia orthaus says:

this is rreally cool

posted on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 4:50pm

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