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Hydraulic Fracturing and Earthquakes: A Possible Connection?

Here is another sneak peek from the upcoming 2011 version of Fractured Communities:

Geologists have postulated that there may be a connection between hydrofracking and seismic events, such as earthquakes. On May 27, 2011, England’s sole hydrofracking project was halted after two earthquakes occurred less than two kilometers from the project’s site within an eight-week period.[1] According to Dr. Brian Baptie, seismology project leader for the British Geological Survey, “It seems quite likely that they [the hydrofracking project and the earthquake] are related.”[2]

In Arkansas, the Chesapeake Energy and Clarita Operating were asked to suspend the use of injection wells to dispose of hydrofracking wastewaters, which state officials believe may be linked to a recent increase in earthquake activity.[3] Preliminary studies suggest that there is link between the use of such wells and the over one thousand Arkansas earthquakes that occurred in the last six months.[4] Although most of these earthquakes have been minor, the area experienced a 4.7 magnitude earthquake in February 2011, the largest earthquake to hit Arkansas in 35 years.[5] According to Scott Ausbrooks, a geo-hazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, there has been a significant decrease in seismic activity after the use of injection wells was halted.[6] In May 2011, a couple sued three of the major hydrofracking companies for damage to their home allegedly caused from earthquakes that resulted from hydrofracking.[7]









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