Revisiting the Fracking–Earthquake Connection

Here’s the situation in Texas and other parts of the country where fracking for natural gas has come on the scene: it’s producing a hell of a lot of gas, excitement, and money.

Earthquake epicenters examined in the study (red circles), injection wells (squares and + symbols) in use since October 2006, seismic monitoring stations (white triangles), and mapped faults (green lines). Credit: Cliff Frohlich/U. of Texas at Austin.

All of this gas is also producing a hell of a lot of wastewater, which, according to experts is producing a hell of a lot of earthquakes. Earthquakes? Yes, that’s right, earthquakes, as in the kind that shake the ground. According to some geophysicists, it isn’t fracking itself that’s causing earthquakes, it’s all the wastewater being pumped back into the ground for storage.

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Earthquake Warning Signs

Mongolia, China, 2003, Strange Pre-Earthquake Occurrences

A 2003 story in the China Daily relates some strange occurrences just prior to a large earthquake that hit Chifeng, a city in Mongolia. Villagers reported that they saw water spurt more than six feet into the air from a river bed that had been dry for many years.

Cellphone signals were reportedly knocked out for up till 10 hours prior to the quake in an area about 90 miles from the epicenter. Experts speculated the cause may have been interference from “abnormal terrestrial magnetic waves.”

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The Great Earthquake Debate

Summary

A Google search using the words “earthquake trends” 1)without using quotes in the actual search reveals that earthquakes have been on a lot of peoples’ minds. But it’s not just since Haiti. As one high profile earthquake gives way to another, the Internet clearly indicates that many people are starting to ask questions. It’s interesting to note the different interpretations of what is perceived by many to be an increase in either the frequency or strength of earthquakes in recent years. This post takes a look at some of the popular stories currently circulating about earthquakes. They constitute the common beliefs that many people  share about earthquakes and how they relate to contemporary societies. As such, it is felt that these stories represent modern folktales about earthquakes.

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References   [ + ]

1. without using quotes in the actual search

Global Earthquake Trends 1900 – 2010

Killer Earthquakes and Other Problems Beneath the Surface

Silent and unexpected, without warning, they smite with irresistible force. All that dwells upon the surface is subject to the invisible fury of the earthquake. Shacks and mansions, buildings, bridges, and roadways; their permanence rendered illusory. Yet for all its titanic power, the earthquake, unlike other natural forces, does not kill man directly. It exerts itself on the very things that sustain our civilization, causing what normally provides shelter to cave in and crush us.

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