How Fracking Caused An Ohio Earthquake

Youngstown, OH. Photo: Blue80 (CC)

Youngstown, OH. Photo: Blue80 (CC)

As many as 11 Ohio earthquakes, to be exact. Pete Spotts reports for the Christian Science Monitor:

The link between “fracking” and earthquakes was thrown into stark relief over the weekend when a magnitude 4.0 quake struck Youngstown, Ohio – typically not a hot bed of noticeable seismic activity. The quake triggered shaking reportedly felt as as far away as Buffalo, N.Y., and Toronto.

The temblor struck Dec. 31 and was the latest and strongest of 11 minor-to-light quakes that have hit the region since March. The epicenters are clustered around a wastewater injection well for a hydraulic fracturing operation.

Understanding the potential effect hydraulic fracturing or related activities could have on local earthquake risks is one question some researchers hope to answer as they try to develop tools for communities.

Fracking allows energy companies to extract natural gas trapped in shale deposits deep underground. By injecting large quantities of pressurized fluids, drillers can break up the rock, releasing the gas for extraction.

One way to dispose of the waste fluids from the process is to inject them back into porous rock formations deep underground. But if pressurized fluids find their way into faults, the fluids can act like a hydraulic jack, separating locked sections enough to allow them to slip…

Read more here.

, , ,

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I think I’d change the Disinfo headline to match the headline changes made by CSM.

    I wonder when Ted Turner is going to realize he has the power to turn a bunch of his Arizona ranch land into Oceanfront acreage.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    I think I’d change the Disinfo headline to match the headline changes made by CSM.

    I wonder when Ted Turner is going to realize he has the power to turn a bunch of his Arizona ranch land into Oceanfront acreage.

  • Sabina lokic

    Fracking really does need more testing.
    I would bet that as with the banking system there arent many regulations or much enforcement but there are many high paid lobbyists,

    • Anarchy Pony

      That describes petty much all modern industry.

  • Sabina lokic

    Fracking really does need more testing.
    I would bet that as with the banking system there arent many regulations or much enforcement but there are many high paid lobbyists,

  • Sabina lokic

    Fracking really does need more testing.
    I would bet that as with the banking system there arent many regulations or much enforcement but there are many high paid lobbyists,

  • Sabina lokic

    Fracking really does need more testing.
    I would bet that as with the banking system there arent many regulations or much enforcement but there are many high paid lobbyists,

  • Anarchy Pony

    That describes petty much all modern industry.

  • shelley griffiths

    Fracking should be illegal…..I live in Ohio, our governor put a stop to it for now til further testing is done. But we know it is temporary. Fracking also polutes all near by water supplies. Water is our most precious commodity. Without fresh water there is no life. Fracking should be stopped everywhere!!!!

  • shelley griffiths

    Fracking should be illegal…..I live in Ohio, our governor put a stop to it for now til further testing is done. But we know it is temporary. Fracking also polutes all near by water supplies. Water is our most precious commodity. Without fresh water there is no life. Fracking should be stopped everywhere!!!!

    • D.D.B.

      Completely agree! 
      Do not have faith in gov’t to help you though. They will always side with the energy company.
      Keep fighting!

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    well the good news is that Ohio might just sink off the face of the earth
    a, o, way to go Ohio

  • BuzzCoastin

    well the good news is that Ohio might just sink off the face of the earth
    a, o, way to go Ohio

  • D.D.B.

    Completely agree! 
    Do not have faith in gov’t to help you though. They will always side with the energy company.
    Keep fighting!

  • D.D.B.

    Completely agree! 
    Do not have faith in gov’t to help you though. They will always side with the energy company.
    Keep fighting!

  • Heath

    Funny how this has happened just about everywhere they’ve fracked..Wait no it was caused by nature…much like the water that catches on fire..As far as history, water catching on fire, and Ohio is concerned, it’s nothing new..

  • Heath

    Funny how this has happened just about everywhere they’ve fracked..Wait no it was caused by nature…much like the water that catches on fire..As far as history, water catching on fire, and Ohio is concerned, it’s nothing new..

  • Physicist from CO

    I would worry more about how the waste is contaminating the ground water in the fracking process.  The level of forces involved in earthquakes is far beyond the “jacking” of waste water injection from the fracking process.  You might facilitate some underground hydrodynamic erosion… possibly a sinkhole, but an earthquake is not going to be caused by fracking injections.  If you believe that, why didn’t underground nuclear and atomic explosions cause any earthquakes?  They were measured forces on a tectonic scale, and no earthquakes.

  • Physicist from CO

    I would worry more about how the waste is contaminating the ground water in the fracking process.  The level of forces involved in earthquakes is far beyond the “jacking” of waste water injection from the fracking process.  You might facilitate some underground hydrodynamic erosion… possibly a sinkhole, but an earthquake is not going to be caused by fracking injections.  If you believe that, why didn’t underground nuclear and atomic explosions cause any earthquakes?  They were measured forces on a tectonic scale, and no earthquakes.