07 Apr '12, 12pm

Shale shocked: USGS links ‘remarkable increase’ in earthquakes to fracking

Shale shocked: USGS links ‘remarkable increase’ in earthquakes to fracking

Cross-posted from Climate Progress . A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) team has found that a sharp jump in earthquakes in America’s heartland appears to be linked to oil and natural gas drilling operations. As hydraulic fracturing has exploded onto the scene, it has increasingly been connected to earthquakes. Some quakes may be caused by the original fracking — that is, by injecting a fluid mixture into the earth to release natural gas (or oil). More appear to be caused by reinjecting the resulting brine deep underground. Last August, a USGS report [PDF] examined a cluster of earthquakes in Oklahoma and reported: Our analysis showed that shortly after hydraulic fracturing began small earthquakes started occurring, and more than 50 were identified, of which 43 were large enough to be located. Most of these earthquakes occurred within a 24 hour period after hydraulic fracturin...

Full article: http://grist.org/fossil-fuels/shale-shocked-usgs-links-re...

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