Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

A Labor Day of Earthquakes For Timpson, Texas

timspon quakes

Screen capture from USGS website.

Click image to see the location of the two quakes that hit this Monday. They are represented by yellow dots. Find more info here: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/map/

If you visit this site often, chances are you’ve read about Timpson. It’s an East Texas community home to just over 1,100 people that seems to get more than its fair share of earthquakes.

Last year a magnitude 4.8 struck the area. In January of this year two more quakes hit, one of them causing damage. In February, a third quake hit measuring 4.1. And just this Monday two more earthquakes, one measuring 4.1, and another measuring 4.3, shook the town.

Up until the recent spate of quakes, Timpson had never felt an earthquake before, at least not since the USGS started keeping records.

Timpson now has somewhat frequent earthquakes, but it also has a lot of something else: injection wells for storing waste water produced by hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.  By our last count, Shelby County where Timpson is located, is home to 27 active injection wells.

Science has proven the link between injection wells and seismic activity (which is the same thing as earthquakes). And researchers are studying that link in Timpson.

According to UT’s Dr. Cliff Frolich, who is leading that research, the work is being complicated by the frequency of earthquakes.

“If they quit having earthquakes it’d be faster,” he told StateImpact Texas last February.

Despite evidence that disposal wells, and in some cases fracking itself, cause earthquakes, policymakers in Texas have been slow to respond.

But if quakes like the one in Timpson continue, inaction may be difficult to explain. While most quakes with possible links to injection wells cause no damage, the tremors in Timpson have. They’ve reportedly toppled chimneys, broken windows and, in the case of this Monday, even shaken the insulation from the ceiling of a convenience store in nearby Nacogdoces.



  • TheDirtmover

    Your getting off easy with one now and then.
    “The Guessers” geothermal plant not far from San Francisco to the North,
    generates plenty of “man made” quakes on a daily basis.
    Funny how the ECO squad turns a blind eye to that.

    • Rafer Johnson

      Let everyone have as many earthquakes as they want and to any magnitude they want. There is no reason for government to interfere with this damn thing. If the water becomes polutted they can haul their own water–just keep the government out of Texas–don’t mess with Texas.
      Joesph Smith is coming and bringing all his Mormon friends with him, e.g. Moroni, Mormon.

  • Kevin Lord

    Thanks for the report, NPR. I hear the 4.3 got upgraded to a 4.8 today. People need to wake up to the poisoning of Texas’ water supply, and fast. Fracking is big killer of the environment, especially when you look at the methane released into the air along with toxic benzene. They like doing this at night so you don’t smell it so bad. See skytruth and fractracker for more toxic info that you don’t really want to know about, but should.

  • Mary Vonzastrow

    If it looks like a frack-duck, quacks like a frack-duck and walks like a frack-duck…. then fracking is absolutely rocking our world.

  • theresa huntinghouse

    Yes we had damage to the shop/well pad moving we live on 1971

    • Mike B.

      I live between the end of 1970 and hwy 59, 2.1 miles from last earthquake. the one last year cracked the ground between my house and water well. the satelites on my roof had to be re-adjusted about an inch. also we had 19 feet of water in our well, now only 7 feet. pulled burnt pump out and replaced, but now the well cant keep up with use. has been productive since 1961. They dont want to admit fracking to blame because they might have to drill me a new well!

  • guest

    In South Eastern Texas, friends of mine have land with natural springs, (artesian wells) Next door they dug a well and hit it with that high pressure, and now oil is coming up in the springs, it destroyed their beautiful property, but the oil companies arent doing anything about it, and no lawyer will take the case.
    That is why the greenies are looking the other way. The oil companies are too big and too dangerous. They do kill.

  • catris

    They are secretly mineing our resources and injecting their planets waists in its place.

    • Filldaddy

      Your tinfoil hat cannot stop our tracking satellites. You have been under observation and are being monitored by our insertion squads.

  • sideliner

    Fracking has been happening in Nacogdoches Co. for over 70 years. There have not been any earth quakes here. The environmentalists and the media have found a new “band wagon” on which to jump. Oil strata and water strata are at two different levels.

    • Filldaddy

      Shelby County? You must have some years under your belt if you recall the O&G work going on 70 yrs ago. If you have, then you know as well as I do that the number of wells and volume of fracking throughout the state have increased by thousands of percent in the last 10 years (depending on area). Which company do you work for?

      True, most of us work with, around or for these companies. We don’t all make up lies to misinform the eco fanatics (that live hypocritical lives themselves). When they stop plugging their i-phones into the grid and start driving their kids to school on a bicycle or in a rickshaw, then they can point fingers and b!tch.

      Be the bigger person, dude…or dudette.

  • Sinner with grace

    Poor souls, this town has treated strangers and Preachers by running them out of town with Police and owners of their businesses. The Gospel was being preached in their streets and after receiving permission to park in the town square, the Mayor approched us and was very UN-loving and pushy for us to leave.

    After wards after moving the vehicle to the truck stop (whataburger)…..The Lady owner of the business called the police on us for being parked over 10 minutes in the rain…..
    There was no signs or posting on property. The only conclusion was that our vehicle had JESUS WORDS all over it and was offensive to her truck stop and or town. All of this, one day before Christmas!

    My advise is for Timpson,Texas to REPENT and be Transformed to Jesus Christ before the next major event. It will come!!

    Behold for the Kingdom of God is at hand.

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »