What is causing these East Texas earthquakes? - | WBTV Charlotte

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>>

  • Reporter Notebook: Chancellor Lee Adams at 18

    Reporter Notebook: Chancellor Lee Adams at 18

    Monday, November 20 2017 7:37 PM EST2017-11-21 00:37:37 GMT
    (Steve Crump | WBTV)(Steve Crump | WBTV)

    Joining the military, leaving home, or starting college are many of the actions coming to mind, but if your name is Chancellor Lee Adams reaching the age of 18 is another important step in a rather complicated journey.

    More >>

    Joining the military, leaving home, or starting college are many of the actions coming to mind, but if your name is Chancellor Lee Adams reaching the age of 18 is another important step in a rather complicated journey.

    More >>
  • Rowan Chamber Gala to honor entrepreneurs

    Rowan Chamber Gala to honor entrepreneurs

    Monday, November 20 2017 7:35 PM EST2017-11-21 00:35:28 GMT
    Janet Spriggs (Source: Rowan Chamber)Janet Spriggs (Source: Rowan Chamber)

    The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s 92nd Annual Gala will be held on Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. at the West End Plaza (1935 Jake Alexander Blvd.).

    More >>

    The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s 92nd Annual Gala will be held on Thursday, January 11, 6 p.m. at the West End Plaza (1935 Jake Alexander Blvd.).

    More >>
  • 2017 Conservation Awards announced

    2017 Conservation Awards announced

    Monday, November 20 2017 7:31 PM EST2017-11-21 00:31:19 GMT
    Fred Stanback Conservationist of the Year – Bill and Nancy Stanback. Pictured Left To Right – Travis Morehead, Nancy Stanback and Bill Stanback Source: LandTrust for Central North CarolinaFred Stanback Conservationist of the Year – Bill and Nancy Stanback. Pictured Left To Right – Travis Morehead, Nancy Stanback and Bill Stanback Source: LandTrust for Central North Carolina

    From the LandTrust for Central North Carolina: The Salisbury-based LandTrust for Central North Carolina hosted its second year of conservation awards on November 11, 2017.

    More >>

    From the LandTrust for Central North Carolina: The Salisbury-based LandTrust for Central North Carolina hosted its second year of conservation awards on November 11, 2017.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly