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

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. 

 

  • NEWSMore>>

  • Dump truck pulls down power pole in Gulfport

    Dump truck pulls down power pole in Gulfport

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 2:34 PM EDT2017-07-25 18:34:02 GMT
    (Photo source: Twitter/@GPDPolicePIO)(Photo source: Twitter/@GPDPolicePIO)

    Several homes in the area of Hewes Ave. and 28th St. in Gulfport are without electricity after a dump truck pulled down a power pole. Officials said no injuries were reported.

    More >>

    Several homes in the area of Hewes Ave. and 28th St. in Gulfport are without electricity after a dump truck pulled down a power pole. Officials said no injuries were reported.

    More >>
  • Explore the BEST girls visit Ingalls Shipbuilding

    Explore the BEST girls visit Ingalls Shipbuilding

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 2:12 PM EDT2017-07-25 18:12:41 GMT
    The girls used their collective brain power to build mini roller coasters, while learning about kinetic energy. (Photo source: WLOX)The girls used their collective brain power to build mini roller coasters, while learning about kinetic energy. (Photo source: WLOX)

    They are the next generation of engineers and scientists. About 20 girls, ages 11 to 14, are learning about non-traditional career fields for women.

    More >>

    They are the next generation of engineers and scientists. About 20 girls, ages 11 to 14, are learning about non-traditional career fields for women.

    More >>
  • Police release more details on Gulfport chase caught on tape

    Police release more details on Gulfport chase caught on tape

    Tuesday, July 25 2017 12:25 PM EDT2017-07-25 16:25:12 GMT
    (Photo source: Chuck Coats)(Photo source: Chuck Coats)

    We are learning more details about a police chase that led officers and deputies through Gulfport and Pass Christian on Monday morning.

    More >>

    We are learning more details about a police chase that led officers and deputies through Gulfport and Pass Christian on Monday morning.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly