Sunday, 30 August 2015

Magnitude 3.7 Earthquake in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma.

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.7 Earthquake at a depth of 5 km in northern Noble County, Oklahoma, before 7.20 am local time (slightly before 0.20 am GMT) on Sunday 30 August 2015. There is little danger of any damage or injuries being caused by an Earthquake of this Magnitude, but people have reported feeling it in the city of Edmond.

The approximate location of the 30 August 2015 Oklahoma County Earthquake. Google Maps.

Oklahoma is naturally prone to Earthquakes, particularly in the southwest of the state, near the Meers Fault Zone, but since 2009 has suffered a sharp increase in the number of small quakes in the central and northeast parts of the state. While most of these quakes have been quite small, a few have been large enough to potentially cause problems, and any unexplained increase in seismic activity is a cause for concern. 

In a paper published in the journal Geology on 26 March 2013, a team of geologists led by Katie Keranen of the ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Oklahoma linked one of the largest of these quakes, a Magnitude 5.7 event in November 2011 which caused damage locally and was felt across 17 states, to the practice of pumping liquids (usually brine) into injection wells, which is common in the hydrocarbons industry and used to displace oil or gas, which can then be extracted from nearby extraction wells (where this is done in bursts at pressure to intentionally break up rock it is called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking). Significantly they suggested that the practice could lead to quakes years or even decades after the actual injection.

Witness accounts of Earthquakes can help geologists to understand these events, and the structures that cause them. The international non-profit organization Earthquake Report is interested in hearing from people who may have felt this event; if you felt this quake then you can report it to Earthquake Report here.

See also...

One man has died and at least 24 other have been injured following an outbreak of tornadoes across Oklahoma and parts of Arkansas on Thursday 26 March 2015. The dead man is reported to have died while trying to aid his injured father at the River...

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake at a depth of 5 km in eastern Noble County, Oklahoma, before 5.10 am local time...

The United States Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 3.3 Earthquake at a depth of 5 km in northern Grant County, Oklahoma, slightly after 7.10 pm...

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