The residents in Timpton, TX have experienced two earthquakes, of 4.1 and 4.3 magnitudes respectively early yesterday morning- within 2 hours of each other – and local seismologists are once again blaming them on the Mt. Enterprise Fault Line.
No injuries or significant damage have been reported so far, but it is interesting that much of the information – about both the earthquakes and the fault line itself have been deleted from the USGS database or something:
Earthquake Report released quotes from frightened residents as far away as Tyler, where I grew up – I have to admit, the quote from there sent a shiver up my spine.
Bravo to KSLA for having the journalistic integrity to call this out for what it is:
There have been 11 earthquakes in Shelby County since May of 2012, but what is causing the earthquakes? KSLA News 12 Meteorologist Stephen Parr has been investigating the cause of these quakes for several months now. Back in February, he shared with the Ark-La-Tex the results of a recent study done by the University of Texas. In it, geologists concluded many of the earthquakes in Texas over the past decade are likely man made.
The study says the quakes are caused by injection wells pumping water into fault lines, and lubricating the faults. The USGS is currently investigating the quakes in Shelby County to see if they are related to one or more of the hydraulic injection wells located in and around the Timpson.
Last year, the question of fracking causing earthquakes was brought to the table so often in East Texas, that the local media even put out a story assuring the public that this wasn’t the case. Their reasoning includes the following:
“This is a natural event, it’s on a very large existing fault system that’s called the Mount Enterprise System.”
The last quake we’re told had it’s epicenter, right along the fault line, and the one that occurred Thursday morning just a few miles east, also on the fault line. Also, we’re told last week’s shake up, was called a foreshock.
“A foreshock means the stress was relieved and then there was a larger release after that. So, you might think of it as the beginning, and there might yet be another one.”
Yes, but this can also happen with an underground methane release, with an explosion accompanying the 2nd earthquake, which was what has occurred in times past.
“These are horizontally bedded sediments, at that depth, the rocks are so compressed the only way to get gas and oil out of them is to fracture them. Where those earthquakes are happening is not up here but all the way down in here to an area that’s the upper, very upper most part of the crust where you have crystal and rocks that’s where the earthquakes originate, not up in here.”
Um, yes they have. Today, both earthquakes were approximately 5km deep – pretty shallow by any seismic standard and given the distance across in each quake, would suggest a “puncture wound” of sorts underground going on, not a diffuse pattern like an earthquake would put out.
But that’s assuming that the seismic info from USGS – In cases where it’s still being reflected by websites who are still showing it in their own databases – is correct in the first place on the diffusion pattern, since it was reportedly felt over 80 miles away. Also evidence of a possible cover-up lies in the fact that although the fracking chart shows a Mineral Rights Pooling Agreements area close to the site of the quakes, no actual fracking sites are seen in the area. Could a company be trying to cover up a project that injected more than the usual 8,000 feet and didn’t want the pesky government agencies like the EPA finding out, so they’ve covered up the 11 earthquakes with this measly little fault line they’re suddenly claiming is the Texas equivalent of the San Andreas? Thanks to “Jimsplace”, my questions were (somewhat) answered:
So, maybe an illegal injection well in the area would do it?
Comments by other users – who possess the same East Texan skepticism the author here was raised in – hinted at their own doubts about just how safe these large-scale fracking projects are in the area:
That being said, Josh Fox’s Gasland website seems to make some pretty good arguments for fracking being the cause of earthquakes:
Fracking has been proven to cause earthquakes, directly and indirectly. The National Research Council settled the debate about indirect cause with a comprehensive study in 2012. The study concluded that the greatest risk of earthquakes does not come from drilling or fracking but from pumping the wastewater from fracking into deep rock reservoirs. Such wastewater injection was blamed for earthquakes that occurred in Youngstown, Ohio, on Christmas Eve and on New Year’s Eve 2012, measuring 2.7 and 4.0 on the Richter scale, respectively. The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission concluded that fracking itself directly caused seismicity in the Horn River shale play, and that those earthquakes damaged underground well structures.
What I believe happened yesterday morning in sleepy East Texas is that a fracking company somewhere “blew a vein” while performing an initial “push” of the fracking fluid in the area or while doing a well injection, and what I’m afraid is gonna happen is this problem is only going to get worse from here on out. They need a sincere, independent investigation on these earthquakes in the area before sinkholes start popping up.
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