A new study released by the US Geological Survey found that an enormous increase in earthquakes in Oklahoma were caused by humans, marking the first time the body has studied our effect on seismic activity.
In 2007, as Time reports, Oklahoma recorded just one quake of negligible magnitude – but last year, the Sooner State notched up more than 900, all of them at least 3.0 on the Richter scale.
With 287 quakes recorded already this year, Oklahoma is now on par with California – long-fated as the future “Arizona Bay” – and is one of the most seismically active places in the world.
The reason, officials believe, is the practice of pumping waste product caused by oil and gas exploration – salt water – back from whence it came.
The enormous volume of water is stressing the state’s fault lines, and has already caused plenty of damage – and the problem is worsening. Ten of Oklahoma’s most powerful quakes have occurred in the past five years.
As if the prospect of man-made earthquakes wasn’t bad enough, The New York Times reports that the “dramatic increase in seismicity” could be setting the stage for a major “natural” earthquake, agitated by the smaller ones caused by humans.
“By including human-induced events, our assessment of earthquake hazards has significantly increased in parts of the U.S.,” Mark Petersen, the head of USGS’s Natural Seismic Hazard Mapping Project, said in a press release.
“This research also shows that much more of the nation faces a significant chance of having damaging earthquakes over the next year, whether natural or human-induced.”
The agency will now release an updated hazards map every year. Previously, the map was updated every six years.
now this one IS man made..time to move states..
“As if the prospect of man-made earthquakes wasn’t bad enough, The New York Times reports that the “dramatic increase in seismicity” could be setting the stage for a major “natural” earthquake, agitated by the smaller ones caused by humans.”