Fracking pinpointed as cause of Texas earthquakes

Friday, November 08, 2013 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: fracking, Texas earthquakes, gas extraction

eTrust Pro Certified

Most Viewed Articles
Popular on Facebook
BACK INTO THE CLOSET: Why U.S. reporters are not allowed to write about rainbow events in nations where being gay is still condemned
Depopulation test run? 75% of children who received vaccines in Mexican town now dead or hospitalized
A family destroyed: Six-month-old dies after clinic injects baby with 13 vaccines at once without mother's informed consent
Biologist explains how marijuana causes tumor cells to commit suicide
INVESTIGATION: Three days before Dr. Bradstreet was found dead in a river, U.S. govt. agents raided his research facility to seize a breakthrough cancer treatment called GcMAF
BOMBSHELL: China and America already at war: Tianjin explosion carried out by Pentagon space weapon in retaliation for Yuan currency devaluation... Military helicopters now patrolling Beijing
Companies begin planting microchips under employees' skin
BAM! Chipotle goes 100% non-GMO; flatly rejecting the biotech industry and its toxic food ingredients
Chemotherapy kills cancer patients faster than no treatment at all
ECONOMIC SLAVERY FOR ALL: While we were distracted with the Confederate flag flap, Congress quietly forfeited our entire economic future via fast-track trade authority
NJ cops bust teenagers shoveling snow without a permit
McDonald's in global profit free fall as people everywhere increasingly reject chemically-altered toxic fast food
March Against Monsanto explodes globally... World citizens stage massive protests across 38 countries, 428 cities... mainstream media pretends it never happened
Italian court rules mercury and aluminum in vaccines cause autism: US media continues total blackout of medical truth
SCOTUS same-sex marriage decision may have just legalized the concealed carry of loaded firearms across all 50 states, nullifying gun laws everywhere
Orthorexia Nervosa - New mental disorder aimed at people who insist on eating a clean diet
Vicious attack on Dr. Oz actually waged by biotech mafia; plot to destroy Oz launched after episode on glyphosate toxicity went viral
Nearly every mass shooting in the last 20 years shares one surprising thing? and it's not guns
(NaturalNews) Yet another study has linked fracking and similar oil and gas mining practices to earthquakes, this time in Texas.

The new study was conducted by researchers from China University of Geosciences and the University of Texas at Austin and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed 93 separate earthquakes that took place in Texas between March 2009 and December 2010. They found that many of the earthquakes occurred shortly after oil and gas companies had injected carbon dioxide into their wells.

"The timing of gas injection suggests it may have contributed to triggering the recent seismic activity," the researchers wrote. "If so, this represents an instance where gas injection has triggered earthquakes having magnitudes 3 and larger."

Carbon dioxide is injected into aging oil and gas wells as a way of extending their output. As easy-to-obtain oil and gas runs out around the world, such extreme drilling practices are becoming more common. For example, Occidental Petroleum says that nearly 60 percent of its West Texas and southeast New Mexico oil production uses carbon dioxide flooding techniques.

Extreme extraction

Carbon dioxide flooding is similar to the more well-known technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which water is used to crack open subterranean rocks to facilitate the extraction of oil and gas. This produces huge quantities of toxic and radioactive wastewater. One of the favored techniques for disposing of fracking wastewater is to simply inject it into the ground again, usually in a different location.

Fracking wastewater injection has been strongly linked to earthquakes, most recently in a study conducted by researchers from Columbia University and published in the journal Geology. In that study, the researchers showed that this practice was most likely responsible for the 5.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Prague, Oklahoma, in November 2011. That earthquake, felt in Milwaukee more than 800 miles away, destroyed 14 homes and damaged a federal highway.

The study was possible because the 5.7 quake had actually been preceded by a 5.0 quake, which caused a University of Oklahoma seismologist to set up several seismographs as a way of recording aftershocks. This enabled scientists to discover that the 5.7 quake came from a fault rupture no more than 650 feet from active wastewater injection wells, and in the same level of rock. Further research showed that 13 years of wastewater injection had caused the injection pressure to rise more than 10 fold.

"When you overpressure the fault, you reduce the stress that's pinning the fault into place and that's when earthquakes happen," study coauthor Heather Savage said.

The researchers noted that the 5.7 earthquake was actually the result of a series of several smaller quakes, which in turn seem to have been caused by wastewater injection. This suggests that earthquakes can be caused even by relatively small injection sites.

"There's something important about getting unexpectedly large earthquakes out of small systems that we have discovered here," coauthor Geoffrey Abers said.

Scientists have known since at least the 1960s that underground fluid injection can lead to earthquakes. Water injection into oil wells was also linked to Texas earthquakes that occurred between 1975 and 1982. More recently, researchers have linked underground injection to earthquakes in Arkansas and Colorado and blamed it for an 11 fold jump in the rate of earthquakes in the central U.S. over the past three decades. The National Academy of Sciences has called for further research to help understand and respond to this growing threat.

Other human activities have also been shown to cause earthquakes, including geothermal drilling, water impoundment by large dams, enhanced oil recovery, rock quarrying and solution salt mining.

Sources for this article include:

Follow real-time breaking news headlines on
Fracking at
Join over four million monthly readers. Your privacy is protected. Unsubscribe at any time.
comments powered by Disqus
Take Action: Support by linking back to this article from your website

Permalink to this article:

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):

Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Follow Natural News on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and Pinterest

Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...


Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.