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Oklahoma Earthquakes Proven to be Man-made?

Dec 02, 2016 06:47 AM EST
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Frequency of Oklahoma Quakes Decline After New Regulations
New regulations on oil drilling in different parts of Oklahoma have reportedly significantly reduced the frequency of quakes and tremors in the state. This seems to prove that thousands of tremor "swarms" or quakes experienced in different areas, having magnitudes as high as 5.0, are actually man-made.
(Photo : Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

New regulations on oil drilling in different parts of Oklahoma have reportedly significantly reduced the frequency of quakes and tremors in the state. This seems to prove that thousands of tremor "swarms" or quakes experienced in different areas, having magnitudes as high as 5.0, are actually man-made.

It was January of this year when local authorities have noticed that minor quakes have been frequenting Oklahoma for as much as 70 times every week. The Oklahoma Geologic Survey has compiled data of more than five thousand earthquakes just in 2014, with quakes or tremors happening in "swarms." Seeing this as an unnatural event, they started to look out for possible causes and links to man-made activities within the area. They have discovered that the major cause of this was oil drilling.

Fox News reported that on an average, Oklahoma experiences as much as 2.3 quakes every day, but it has now dropped significantly to 1.3 quakes daily. Quake have been linked to the injection of water underground during the process of hydraulic fracturing or fracking. As the water adds more pressure to the ground, it creates more pressure to faults in the area pushing it to create more tremors.

In March of 2015, they have released a new regulation which imposes a reduced volume of water injected into the ground. Residents living in the region, as well as members of the scientific community, has reported a significant change in their day to day lives.

However, it may have reduced the quakes in one region but has increased frequency on more concentrated areas like Cushing. According to an interview with NPR, authorities from Texas and Oklahoma are divided, as the prior have not decided on imposing the same regulations as Oklahoma has for its state. 

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