Earthquake and Drilling Link Prompts Colorado Review

December 6, 2012

  • December 6, 2012 at 2:43 pm
    Billy says:
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    Colorado has a long history of seismic activity. Since as early as 1867, geologists have logged hundreds of earthquakes
    across the state. While earthquakes are a natural result of movements in the Earth’s crust, they can also be caused by
    humans. Recently many Coloradoans have started to wonder whether oil and gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing
    can cause earthquakes that affect our communities: The answer is no.
    Hydraulic fracturing is known to cause very minor seismic activity when the fluids are injected into a formation.
    Geologists know this because microseismic geophones are placed in the ground during a fracture treatment to pick
    up the seismic waves, which can then be mapped to show the extent of fractures. Are these earthquakes large enough
    to cause damage or disturbance? Highly unlikely says the U.S. Department of Energy:

    “To our knowledge hydrofracturing to intentionally create permeability rarely creates unwanted induced seismicity
    large enough to be detected on the surface even with very sensitive sensors, let alone be a hazard or an annoyance.”

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