Oklahomans now feel more earthquakes than California


#1

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#2

I wonder what they’ve done to anger the Lord? Legalize weed? Protect somebody’s rights?


#3

The earthquakes are an issue for the central and western part of the state where drilling is common. We seldom feel the effects in Eastern OK.


#4

Makes it ok then!


#5

Makes it a bit easier to establish a link between drilling and the increase in earthquake frequency.


#6

Not to go all Battlestar on you, but what the frack are you alluding to?


#7

I’ve read about this a few times and the one thing that never seems to be discussed are the implications.

So some stuff falls off the walls. What else?

Can somebody educate me on why I should be concerned with tiny earthquakes in Oklahoma?


#8


#9

The number of felt earthquakes is a terrible metric for judging earthquake hazards. In terms of energy released, it would take 32,000 magnitude 3.0 earthquakes to match the 6.0 Napa earthquake in California last year. The largest Oklahoma earthquake in 2014 was magnitude 4.4, while the largest in California was magnitude 6.8. That 6.8 is the equivalent of 4000 4.4s.

This is not to say that the Oklahoma earthquake swarms are not troubling, but let’s not try to compare the destructive energy released along a plate boundary to that of underground wastewater disposal.


#10

There is no such thing as an “earthquake”. Also, earthquakes are totally natural and happen all the time. Earthquakes are unavoidable, and there is nothing we can do to change them. We may even be able to benefit from earthquakes. Trying to mitigate earthquakes would potentially cause problems for really rich people, so even though we can do something to prevent them, we shouldn’t. There wasn’t an earthquake today, so earthquakes are total liberal BS. It’s too late to do anything about earthquakes, so we just move on to attacking gay people.


#11


#12

Does this help a bit?


#13

The problem is that there are safer ways to deal with the waste water from fracking, but they cost more money, so most companies dispose of the dirty water by injecting it into old formations.

The solution needs to be something like charging/fining them a slightly higher amount for doing this, so that it becomes economically feasible to do what any ethical company would have done in the first place.


#14

The thing that is going to bite the Frackers in the butt in the near future is the fact that the water gets “technologically enhanced” levels of naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM). States are starting to make hydraulic fracturing operations test and properly handle such “enhanced” levels of radioactive materials in the water.


#15

Precisely. The headline implies (to me) that there is a greater earthquake risk in Oklahoma than in California, which is not true. Embiggened map here.

Map prior to wastewater disposal here.


#16

I’m wondering if it is even factual. Most earthquakes are too small to feel. Seems likely to me that fracking might produce more tiny, un-feel-able quakes.


#17

The idea that fracking wouldn’t/couldn’t cause geological instability always seemed to me to be patently absurd.

When I first learned of the technique, my mind instantly conjured the image of a common sponge left to dry, wrung-out with only a firm squeeze on the rim of a sink. As time passed in my impromptu thought experiment, my mind’s eye witnessed the shape and size of that sponge begin to contort somewhat randomly as the process of open air evaporation advanced until the imaginary sponge was a brittle and twisted minature of its formerly moisture-rich, pliant, over-stuffed self.

Then I imagined that brittle, potato chip-like sponge serving as the foundation for a ridgid, crusty overlay ontop of which sat a variety of structures - some naturally occurring and others artificial (e.g.: buildings, roads, …). In my mind’s eye, the immanent collapse of the entire facade happened quickly in a number of similarly imagined scenarios.

The point being that if a liberal arts major can have such thoughts, how many engineers must have had them?


#18

You don’t think research seismologists at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey are working with facts?

Did you read the article? (No.)


#19

Ah, yep very last sentence in blue.

2x as many 3.0+ quakes.


#20

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