Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Updated: Series of Earthquakes Recorded Northeast of Oklahoma City

UPDATED 1:24 p.m.

A series of small earthquakes were recorded early this morning northeast of Oklahoma City, data from the U.S. Geological Survey and Oklahoma Geological Survey show.

The largest in the series was a 4.7-magnitude quake that rattled about 1:56 a.m. near Luther, preliminary data show.  A 4.6-magnitude quake was also recorded around 5:16 a.m. More than a dozen quakes have been recorded, OGS data show.

The epicenters of the quakes are located on the “northeast edge” of region near Jones, Okla., suspected of having oil and gas disposal wells that could have triggered earthquakes in the past, University of Oklahoma seismologist Katie Keranen tells StateImpact.

Keranen has studied other areas of Oklahoma that have been linked to disposal well-triggered quakes. Oklahoma’s largest earthquake — a 5.7-magnitude quake recorded in November 2011 near Prague — was likely triggered by nearby disposal wells, Keranen and three other seismologists concluded in recently published research.

Preliminary data on today’s quake series doesn’t match that of Oklahoma earthquakes that have been linked to disposal wells, Keranen says.

“These are very interesting. They are further from Prague than some other recent events and on a different trend,” she says. “It is hard to say much about them at this point.”

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