USGS marks Oklahoma as ‘earthquake country’ due to fracking risk

By on May 6, 2015

A home damaged from an earthquake in central Oklahoma. (Credit: USGS)

The U.S. Geological Survey has declared 17 new regions in Oklahoma as earthquake country, designating much of the state as at-risk for seismic activity, Reuters reported.

The new designations are part of the first official map by the USGS to recognize areas of increased seismic activity spurred by human activity — particularly wastewater injection from oil and gas acquisition. The map shows that human activity has heightened seismic activity across the central and eastern U.S.

A USGS study of anthropogenic seismic activity, released just a day after Oklahoma geologists reported similar findings of their own, produced the map. Links between wastewater injection and increased earthquake risk in Colorado and New Mexico were established last year, with new zones delineated in Texas, Kansas and other central U.S. states more recently.

Top image: A home damaged from an earthquake in central Oklahoma. (Credit: USGS)

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