Distant earthquakes can trigger smaller tremors near injection wells

By on July 23, 2013

Scientists have discovered that distant earthquakes can trigger multiple minor quakes near wastewater-injection wells, Reuters reported.

Earthquakes in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio and Texas have been linked to seismic activity thousands of miles away. Seismologists assert that the recent surge in domestic oil and gas recovery is the cause. The injection wells, one Columbia University seismologist reported, increase pressure on faults, causing them to “slip” and induce earthquakes.

Already a controversial practice, the discovery raises further concerns about the potential hazards of hydraulic fracturing, for which the wells are used.

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