Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Earthquakes from fracking?

So what does the largest earthquake to hit Arkansas in 35 years have to do with us?  It seems that Arkansas, home to the Fayetteville Shale, has fallen victim to more than 800 small earthquakes since September alone.  Some are drawing a possible connection between the earthquakes and the large amount of fracking going on in the area.  They have issued a  6 month moratorium against new injection wells while they study any possible connections.

The following excerpt is from article posted by the Associated Press yesterday:

Largest earthquake in 35 years hits Arkansas
by Sarah Eddington

GREENBRIER, Ark. — The central Arkansas town of Greenbrier has been plagued for months by hundreds of small earthquakes, and after being woken up by the largest quake to hit the state in 35 years, residents said Monday they're unsettled by the increasing severity and lack of warning.

The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the quake at 11 p.m. Sunday, centered just northeast of Greenbrier, about 40 miles north of Little Rock. It was the largest of more than 800 quakes to strike the area since September in what is now being called the Guy-Greenbrier earthquake swarm.

The activity has garnered national attention and researchers are studying whether there's a possible connection to the region's natural gas drilling industry. The earthquake activity varies each week, though as many as nearly two dozen small quakes have occurred in a day....

...What woke Tarkington was a magnitude 4.7 earthquake that was also felt in Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee and Mississippi. No injuries or major damage have been reported, but the escalation in the severity of quakes in and around the small north-central Arkansas town has many residents on edge. Some said they're seeing gradual damage to their homes, such as cracks in walls and driveways....

...[S]cientists continue to study whether there may be a connection between the earthquakes and local injection wells, where the natural gas industry pumps waste water that can no longer be used by drillers for hydraulic fracturing....

To read the original article in full, please click HERE.

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