Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland.

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Seismologists Studying Disposal Well Earthquakes Need Data That Isn’t Available

  • Joe Wertz

Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologist Austin Holland says proving the link between disposal wells and earthquakes depends on data that isn't collected ahead of time.

There is concern among many seismologists that waste fluid disposal wells used by the oil and gas industry could be causing earthquakes. And that connection could have profound effects in big-energy states like Oklahoma.

The scientific consensus is growing, but it’s not unanimous. But there is one thing geophysicists  and seismologists agree on — even skeptics: They can’t get their hands on the data they need to study the link.