October 3, 2012
Three unusual earthquakes that shook a suburb west of Dallas over the weekend appear to be connected to the past disposal of wastewater from local hydraulic fracturing operations, a geophysicist who has studied earthquakes in the region says.
Preliminary data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) show the first quake, a magnitude 3.4, hit at 11:05 p.m. CDT on Saturday a few miles southeast of the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. It was followed 4 minutes later by a 3.1-magnitude aftershock that originated nearby.
A third, magnitude-2.1 quake trailed Saturday’s rumbles by just under 24 hours, touching off at 10:41 p.m. CDT on Sunday from an epicenter a couple miles east of the first, according to the USGS. The tremors set off a volley of 911 calls, according to Reuters, but no injuries have been reported.
By The Guardian
Sunday, September 30, 2012 13:19 EDT
A small earthquake followed by an aftershock hit a suburb west of Dallas overnight, causing minor damage.
Emergency officials said they had no indications of any injuries from Saturday’s late-night quake. The epicenter was near Dallas-Fort Worth airport, but was not large enough to affect flight operations.
The tremors caused cracks in walls and ceilings, and knocked down pictures, but authorities reported no serious damage.
The US Geological Survey’s national earthquake monitoring center in Golden, Colorado recorded a quake of preliminary magnitude of 3.4 at 11.05pm local time on Saturday, two miles north of the Dallas suburb of Irving.
USGS Geophysicist Randy Baldwin told the Associated Press from Colorado that the initial quake lasted several seconds and appeared strong enough to be felt up to 15 or 20 miles away.
He said the smaller aftershock with an estimated 3.1 magnitude occurred four minutes later and just a few miles away in another area west of Dallas.
September 30, 2012 – DALLAS – The U.S. Geological Survey recorded a 3.4 magnitude earthquake centered near Irving at 11:05 p.m. Saturday. Four minutes later, there was a magnitude 3.1 quake in West Dallas. Both were estimated at a depth of 3.1 miles. News 8 has been receiving calls and Facebook postings from people who felt the earth moving in Richardson, Garland, Coppell, Dallas, Grapevine, and other locations in North Texas. The epicenter of the initial quake was located near MacArthur Boulevard and Rochelle Road near Farine Elementary School, according to coordinates provided by the USGS. The second tremor was centered near the intersection of Loop 12 and Interstate 30, about six miles southeast of the first earthquake. Irving’s emergency operators were flooded with more than 400 calls after the initial quake as people reported such minor damage as cracks in some walls and a ceiling, pictures knocked down and a report of a possible gas leak, according to an emergency official, Pat McMacken. City officials said they were still following up on the various reports early Sunday. Beverly Rangel’s home on New Haven Street in Irving was at the epicenter of the first quake. “The table started shaking,” she said. “It’s a pretty heavy table for it to be shaking! I kind of got scared,” said her son, Emmanuel. “I was sitting right here, and the couch just started shaking.” Ashley Finley in Las Colinas said she felt two tremors that shook her walls and furniture. Cheryl Gideon in Irving said she and her neighbors all ran outside. Irving police checked neighborhoods near the epicenter to ensure there was no damage. “We felt it twice in Euless about five minutes apart,” wrote Denise Perez. “We weren’t sure if a plane had crashed or the roof was caving in. It sounded massive.” Joni Gregory of Carrollton said she was surprised she could feel the quake so far away. “The house shook a couple of times… didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “Maybe it’s wind? No, it’s too much.” Geophysicist Randy Baldwin at the USGS earthquake center in Golden, Colorado told The Associated Press that the quake was just strong enough to likely have been felt for about 15 or 20 miles around the epicenter. He says the quake’s online reporting system received no reports of any damages or injuries but there were some 1,200 responses from people who felt the quake. Baldwin says smaller aftershocks are a possibility in that area in coming hours or days. He said the Saturday night quakes were detected by a seismological station located about 65 miles from the epicenter — somewhat distant — and the preliminary magnitude of 3.4 for the initial tremor could be revised up or down once further data is evaluated. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport continued operations normally during and after the quakes, which barely rattled nerves at the airport located partially within the city limits of Irving, said airport public affairs officer David Magaña. He told AP said the airport, which bustles at peak hours to get some 1,800 flights in and out daily, was in a quiet period with very little air traffic late Saturday night.
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