What is causing these East Texas earthquakes? - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

What is causing these East Texas earthquakes?

Posted: Updated:
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. 

 

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Breaking

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:09:42 GMT
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody.More >>
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody. Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said Joshua Emmanuel Ladner, 27, was arrested at his home on Fire Tower Road in Pass Christian on Friday. He is charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident causing death and felony fleeing.More >>
  • Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
  • Breaking

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:07:04 GMT
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified.More >>
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said 26-year-old Christopher Curry, of Jackson, was pronounced dead at the Ocean Springs Hospital shortly before 7:15 a.m.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.