The last five years have seen Oklahoma experience more than 2,500 earthquakes – the vast majority of which are being connected to the oil and gas exploration process of fracking.
Although past studies have also suggested Oklahoma’s earthquake
spike is related to fracking, this is the first time scientists
have pinned such numbers to the controversial procedure. Notably,
they found that fracking could also be responsible for
earthquakes occurring nearly 20 miles away from drilling and
waste deposit sites.
According to Scientific American, Oklahoma has seen more
than 230 earthquakes registering magnitudes of 3.0 or higher in
this year alone. Before 2008, the state only averaged one of
these earthquakes a year.
In a report published by the journal Science, researchers from Cornell University and the
University of Colorado found that roughly 20 percent of all the
earthquakes that occurred in the central and eastern United
States were caused by activity at just four fracking wells
situated near the town of Jones, Oklahoma.
“It really is unprecedented to have this many earthquakes
over a broad region like this,” study co-author Geoffrey
Abers said to the magazine. “