Small Oklahoma tremors could lead to larger, damaging earthquake

Small Oklahoma tremors could lead to larger, damaging earthquake

The increase in frequency of tremors in Oklahoma in the past few months is enough to create worry that a larger, damaging earthquake could soon rattle the area, USGS geophysicist Rob Williams said.

A newly published survey by the USGS revealed that 207 tremors/quakes were recorded in Oklahoma as of Thursday this year. The figure is drastically up from an average of just two major quakes between 1978 and 2008. This year, Oklahoma suffered more quakes than California.

Mr. Williams said that the number of tremors recorded in Oklahoma was just unusual. He also said that all earthquakes occurring were bigger than previous quakes.

Speaking on the topic, he added, “Given the rate of earthquakes over the last six months, it's concerning enough to be worried about a larger, damaging earthquake happening, let alone what might happen in the future.”

While some earthquakes have been linked to controversial practice of oil & gas extraction, called hydraulic fracturing or fracking, many other experts are blaming wastewater wells for frequent earthquakes in Oklahoma.

However, geophysicists have so far failed to gather enough data to pin down the certain set of wastewater wells that are supposedly causing tremors in the region.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Independent Petroleum Association has urged a wait-&-see approach in judging geophysicists’ claims that earthquakes are being caused by wastewater wells.

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