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Texas Sees Spike In Quakes Near Deep Injection Wells

Scott Detrow / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Pander 1 injection well

We’ve done a lot of reporting on deep injection wellswhere 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.
In less than a month, the Johnson County area has been shaken by at least seven different quake events.
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:

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.

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