Shaky Ground (Part 2 in a series on fracking)

By Jonathan Barnes

Because of the Feb. 27 quake and others in the area around Greenbrier, Sam Lane, a 29-year-old electronics store manager, started looking into the possible connection between fracking and earthquakes. He did his own stud

y of earthquake data and three Arkansas injection wells not far from his hometown. One of the wells had an identical pattern as the earthquakes and a second showed a strong correlation between injection occurrences and earthquakes. Experts aren’t sure if the wastewater is putting pressure on the fault, or if it is getting into the fault, Lane said.

Scientists haven’t proven a link between fracking and the 5.6 Richter earthquake that rocked the area east of Oklahoma City in early November, but some are suspicious.

“Seismicity in that region has increased dramatically. It really has skyrocketed,” said Arthur McGarr, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. “If the Oklahoma earthquake turns out to be from oil or gas action, it likely will be of concern… Where there’s a lot of gas production, there’s been a notable increase in seismic activity.”

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