Seismic activity in the state of Oklahoma has increased precipitously since the explosion of hydraulic fracturing operations in the state. The state went from having two earthquakes a year, to averaging two a day.
Oklahoma has surpassed California as America’s most seismically active state. In 2014, Oklahoma experienced 585 earthquakes of a magnitude of 3.0 or greater. California only experienced 180 earthquakes, comparatively. Geology experts stated that not enough attention has been placed on this unusual occurrence.
“It’s completely unprecedented,” said George Choy of the United States Geological Survey.
Over the last ten years, fracking operations have become widespread in the state of Oklahoma. Experts attribute the increase of seismic activity to man-made faults created by drilling and the disposal of wastewater into the ground. As a new phenomenon, experts still aren’t sure about what the long-term consequences will be.
“What’s at risk is that when you put water into the ground, it’s never going to come back out,” said Choy. “You’re putting it in places it has never been before. The bigger the volume, the greater the area will be affected. And we don’t know what the long-term effect will be.”
Fracking poses risks to public health and the environment. Some state in the northeastern United States have already passed bans on fracking.
For more on this story, visit Yahoo! News “How One US State Went from Two Quakes a Year to 585”
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