Seismologists say fracking may cause quakes far from drill sites

By on May 12, 2014
Image: Hydraulic fracturing drill rig in Pennsylvania (Credit: Environmental Protection Agency)

Image: Hydraulic fracturing drill rig in Pennsylvania (Credit: Environmental Protection Agency)


Seismologists at Cornell University say fracking may cause earthquakes farther away from operation sites than previously thought, according to Live Science. But they note the connection between ground tremors and the drilling process is still tenuous.

In a study evaluating fracking sites in Oklahoma, researchers found that injecting fluids underground at some of the state’s largest fracking sites impacted areas up to 30 miles away. The impacts came after drilling fluids expanded and migrated from their initial placement points.

Smaller sites included in the study had few earthquakes occurring nearby, illustrating the inconclusive connection between fracking and quakes. But nationwide, scientists say the number of earthquakes annually has increased to 300 since 2010, up from an average of 21 each year from 1967 to 2000.

Image: Hydraulic fracturing drill rig in Pennsylvania (Credit: Environmental Protection Agency)

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