Researchers have documented links between earthquakes and mining, underground injection wells and hydraulic fracturing. But government scientists say that last weekend’s quakes in Oklahoma were too big to be caused by manmade activities. And those quakes, they noted, occurred near a well-known fault.
Tremors caused by hydraulic fracturing and other mining activities tend to be much smaller – measuring 1.5 to less than 3 in magnitude. But the potential link between drilling and quakes has triggered a flurry of interest. Now it looks like the National Academy of Sciences is going to tackle the question; the Academy has launched a study into the possible role of energy drilling in seismic activity, reports the Oneonta Daily Star. According to research agency spokeswoman Jennifer Walsh, that study should wrap up by the late summer of 2012.