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Earthquakes and Fracking: Are They Related?
Posted by admin on Sunday 7 April 2013
Fracking is the latest trend in the energy industry, but studies are showing that it may have more impact on the environment than originally thought. Fracking is the the process of injecting fluid, sand and other material deep into the earth to help fracture rocks, making natural gas easier to find and collect. However, this process may also be contributing to instances of earthquakes in areas where fracking is taking place.
All around the world, researchers have studied earthquakes corresponding with fracking activities. They have found that fracking in Switzerland, Texas and Oklahoma caused everything from minor tremors to one of Oklahoma’s strongest earthquakes ever recorded.
Because earthquakes do not happen every time fracking occurs, researchers believe that earthquakes due to fracking only happen when the fluid injected underground reaches a fault and relieves the friction on that fault. Otherwise, earthquakes may not happen at all when fracking occurs. Researchers are conducting further research in areas where fracking is popular, but where faults are not located anywhere near the fracking site. If researchers are correct, they will find little if any seismic activity at these fracking locations. Researchers will also continue to study the impact of the earthquakes that do occur near fracking sites to learn more.
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