Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hydrofracking May Be Leading to Increased Seismic Activity

(The above map is of locations of shale gas resources in the continental United States. I have not found a comprehensive map of active drilling sites.)

With the Virginia earthquake of August 23, 2011, people have wondered whether increased hydrofracking could be leading to increased seismic activity.

NPR's affiliate WNYC ran a story today which reported:
Research has found links between hydrofracking and increased seismic activity. The United States Geological Survey said it's possible for humans to cause earthquakes through such activities. The USGS wrote in its "Earthquakes, Faults, Plate Tectonics, Earth Structure" FAQ that "Earthquakes induced by human activity have been documented in a few locations in the United States, Japan, and Canada. The cause was injection of fluids into deep wells for waste disposal and secondary recovery of oil, and the use of reservoirs for water supplies."

A member of the British Geological Survey has offered a similar opinion about the possible link between hydrofracking and earthquakes in Lancashire: Brian Baptie of the United Kingdom survey said, "It seems quite likely that they are related."

See also the blogpost "Is Fracking In The UK Causing Earthquakes?" at

Could hydrofracking in the nearby Marcellus Shale and the Utica Shale Regions be the cause of the up-tick in earthquake activity in the Virginia Seismic Zone? This matter deserves scrutiny. I am not holding my breath. We are living in an era of a COPS (corporate-owned political system).

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