Earthquakes in Oklahoma

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake that shook Oklahoma last week has drawn renewed attention to an uptick in earthquakes in that state starting in 2008. In that same year, deep injections of wastewater into geological formations, a byproduct of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations, began in earnest. Previous deep fluid injection case studies have shown that the fluids can cause faults to slip, causing earthquakes. Not all deep fluid injections cause earthquakes—the seismic risk is connected to where in the earth the fluid is injected. Kris Pankow, associate director of the U Seismograph Stations, studies human-induced earthquakes and is available to comment on the science and context of this Oklahoma quake swarm.

Kris Pankow | 801-585-6484 |