US' New Hotbed of Seismic Activity: Oklahoma
Minor earthquakes spike; scientists suspect gas exploration
By Polly Davis Doig, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 6, 2014 6:10 AM CDT
Oklahoma is a sudden hotbed of seismic activity.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Oklahoma is positively shaking, and maybe not in a good way: A series of minor, 3-point-something earthquakes yesterday did no damage but underscore a new spike in temblors this year that some think is linked to the hunt for oil and gas. As of this month, the Sooner State has already topped the number of "felt" earthquakes—those of enough force to rattle a teacup on your shelf—recorded for the entire year in 2013, at a score of 222 for last year and 253 so far this year. "We have already crushed last year's record for number of earthquakes," a seismologist tells Reuters. An uptick in earthquakes has been traced to oil and gas work, particularly fracking, in studies. A stark note: From 1975 to 2008, Oklahoma recorded fewer than six earthquakes per year.

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Showing 3 of 54 comments
okaragozian
Apr 15, 2014 8:19 AM CDT
...and the coroner said, "The gunshot did not kill Mr. Smith. It was the injury he sustained to his head when he fell and his head hit the curb of the sidewalk." Want to take a wild guess if the jury convicted the shooter? Perhaps we should start "fracking" at the San Andreas Fault in California next. This way when a earthquake happens, we can just blame it on mother nature. An earthquake along the New Madrid Fault could possibly be inevitable but there is no particular reason to hasten its arrival.
Lou Bernardo
Apr 6, 2014 10:33 PM CDT
It's the New Madrid Fault acting up again, and it caused a heavy duty earthquake in 1811-1814 long before anyone was drilling for gas or oil. We've just heard from the anti-fracking gang trying to sound scientific.
K.KRANK
Apr 6, 2014 10:33 PM CDT
Keep that fracking coming! Maybe 1 day u guys can get a 7.0 quake out there!