Are Dallas’ earthquakes linked to fracking?

Would it really be a surprise if the recent earthquakes near Dallas are directly linked to fracking? UK studies have made a direct link between fracking and earthquakes so it sounds highly likely that the “unusual” events are related. Unusual, maybe, but not a surprise.

Before a series of small quakes on Halloween 2008, the Dallas area had never recorded a magnitude-3 earthquake, said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics. USGS data show that, since then, it has felt at least one quake at or above a magnitude 3 every year except 2010.Frohlich said he doesn’t think it’s a coincidence that an intensification in seismic activity in the Dallas area came the year after a pocket of ground just south of (and thousands of feet below) the DFW airport began to be inundated with wastewater from hydraulic fracturing.

During hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” millions of gallons of high-pressure, chemical-laden water are pumped into an underground geologic formation (the Barnett Shale, in the case of northern Texas) to free up oil. But once fractures have been opened up in the rock and the water pressure is allowed to abate, internal pressure from the rock causes fracking fluids to rise back to the surface, becoming what the natural gas industry calls “flowback,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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  • It’s odd because fracking can get us out of all the debt the last 2 administrations have put us in, this country will also be energy interdependent and we will go though a huge economic boom one of which we have never seen before. This is what i predict. Do to Washington’s out of control spending. We will have to frack or make Pot legal on a federal level. We have no means of paying off the amount of money being spent by of gov’t. So I ask you today to pick a way to payoff the gov’ts debt legalize pot on a federal level and Tax it or Fracking. Taxing the rich will not pay off the debt ,sorry we are all going to have to do things we don’t want to do.

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