What is causing these East Texas earthquakes? - Tucson News Now

What is causing these East Texas earthquakes?

TIMPSON, TX (KLTV) -

East Texas has not seen such frequent earthquakes since 1964. The question is, why the sudden increase in earthquakes again? 

A geophysicist with the United States Geological Survey said the recent earthquakes recorded in Timpson are most likely caused from waste water disposal injections from hydraulic fracturing.
 
However, Ragan Dickens with the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association said the earthquakes could be caused by an earthquake fault line that runs through East Texas. 

"It's hard to say exactly what causes these plates in the earth to shift, but what we can look at is historic data. Historic data shows that there is an earthquake fault line in East Texas that has been around since the early 1800's and there's been well over 100 earthquakes recorded over this time period. So now that earthquakes are again happening in this region, it's easy for opposition or the other side of the argument to pinpoint to hydraulic fracturing or waste water disposal, but the fact of the matter is these earthquakes have been going on for well over 100 years, whereas hydraulic fracturing first got its start in 1949," Dickens said. 

However, Arthur McGarr, a geophysicist for the USGS has a different opinion. 

He believes earthquakes can result from hydraulic fracturing, something called micro-earthquakes, which he said are too small to be felt at the surface. Therefore, he believes the earthquakes near Timpson are most likely caused by waste water disposal operations. 

"The normal procedure is to dispose of that waste water by injecting it underground into a much deeper aquifer. These waste water disposal operations often involve very large volumes of waste water and these occasionally induce earthquakes and we think that's what happened in the case of these earthquakes near Timpson," McGarr said. 

Thankfully, major damage rarely occurs from earthquakes under a 6.0 magnitude, and the types of faults across East Texas have yet to produce that strong an earthquake. 

Copyright 2013 KLTV. All rights reserved. 

 

  • Local newsMore>>

  • At least four arrested after protest outside President Trump's rally turns violent

    At least four arrested after protest outside President Trump's rally turns violent

    Wednesday, August 23 2017 1:53 AM EDT2017-08-23 05:53:43 GMT
    Crowds outside President Trump's rally. (Source: Tucson News Now)Crowds outside President Trump's rally. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    What started out as calm soon turned to chaos, as people outside the building where President Trump spoke in Phoenix began throwing rocks and bottles at police officers.   

    What started out as calm soon turned to chaos, as people outside the building where President Trump spoke in Phoenix began throwing rocks and bottles at police officers.   

  • THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: KOLD committed to staying on DIRECTV

    THINK ABOUT IT EDITORIAL: KOLD committed to staying on DIRECTV

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 5:44 PM EDT2017-08-22 21:44:38 GMT
    (Source: KOLD News 13)(Source: KOLD News 13)

    We are currently working hard to make sure DIRECTV customers continue to have access to KOLD without interruption. But there is a chance they will not agree to a fair deal, and decide to drop this station from their system. We're committed to keeping you informed every step of the way.  

    We are currently working hard to make sure DIRECTV customers continue to have access to KOLD without interruption. But there is a chance they will not agree to a fair deal, and decide to drop this station from their system. We're committed to keeping you informed every step of the way.  

  • TUSD announces Dr. Gabriel Trujillo as next superintendent

    TUSD announces Dr. Gabriel Trujillo as next superintendent

    Tuesday, August 22 2017 9:43 PM EDT2017-08-23 01:43:16 GMT
    Dr. Gabriel Trujillo (Source: Tucson Unified School District)Dr. Gabriel Trujillo (Source: Tucson Unified School District)

    After a comprehensive search, Tucson Unified School District has announced their choice for superintendent, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo.

    After a comprehensive search, Tucson Unified School District has announced their choice for superintendent, Dr. Gabriel Trujillo.

Powered by Frankly