We’ve done a lot of reporting on deep injection wells – where they’re located in Pennsylvania, how people in one northwest community are fighting to keep one out of their community, and how much drilling waste is being disposed in them.
The issue that’s gotten the most attention, though, is the fact that deep injection wells may be causing earthquakes. Today, our partners at StateImpact Texas report that within the past month, seven different low-level quakes have been measured in a region that hosts multiple injection wells.
“We’ve been looking at the question of whether the number of earthquakes occurring across the mid-continent has changed in recent years. And we find that there is a statistically significant increase in the rate just over the past several years. And many of these are in areas where we know there is a lot of energy activity,” U.S. Geological Surveygeophysicist Bill Ellsworth tells StateImpact Texas.
Blogger Sharon Wilson, an opponent of fracking,chronicled the tremors recently on her site. All of the data comes from the US Geological Survey, which we double-checked. Each link will take you to the Survey’s event page for the quake:
- June 15: 3.2 magnitude quake in Burleson
- June 23: 2.1 magnitude quake nearby
- June 24: 3.5 magnitude quake in Keene
- June 26: 2.6 magnitude quake in Alverado
- June 29: 2.3 magnitude quake in Keene
- July 6: 2.7 magnitude quake in Keene
And if you compare the location of disposal wells and earthquake events, you’ll find an interesting pattern. The two maps appear to match up.
Click here to view StateImpact Texas’ maps.