Some 2,500 earthquakes in Oklahoma linked to fracking

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.