Fracking, Wastewater Injection, and Earthquakes

john's picture

I was just reading an interesting article on wastewater injection and earthquakes.  The process of fracking, that is fracturing tight shales to allow hydrocarbon production, can involve the production of large volumes of waste fluids.  These are then typically re-injected into the ground.  The injected fluid has been shown in some areas to lead to increases in the number of earthquakes.  Examples are the Rocky Mountain arsenal in February 1966, and Basel Switzerland in 2009.

With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to use the Hazard Viewer to determine how the probability of earthquakes may have increased in Oklahoma.

The image below is a screenshot from the Hazard Viewer with a selection circle of about 150 km radius.