Oklahoma: Earthquakes up fivefold in 2014

Oklahoma: Earthquakes up fivefold in 2014

[Ed. – Hmm.]

There have been more than 500 magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma this year, up significantly from 109 in 2013 and just 35 in 2012, according to U.S. Geological Survey officials.

As of Monday, there were 549 of the higher magnitude quakes in 2014, with 19 being magnitude 4.0 or greater.

USGS officials focused on magnitude 3.0 or greater quakes because the smaller the magnitude, the more potential there is for missing an event, USGS Geophysicist Robert Williams said.

The USGS is looking into the increase in earthquakes, mostly occurring in central and north-central Oklahoma, he said.

“Starting probably in 2009, we started to notice the jump in earthquakes, even though it was small back then, relative to 2014,” Williams said.

A new scientific group focused on studying induced seismicity has been formed. …

Williams said there also has been a burst of earthquakes in the past year, just across the border, in south-central Kansas, near Harper and Conway Springs, Kan.

“It was an area that had virtually no earthquakes historically and has had a number of them recently,” he said.

The Kansas earthquakes are related to new injection wells in south-central Kansas that came on line in 2012 and 2013, Williams said.

 

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