You wouldn’t think of Dallas as a place where earthquakes happen, but last month residents of the Dallas area were beginning to think otherwise. There were three tremors the weekend of the 15th originating around the Dallas/ Fort-Worth International Airport (DFW). The last rumblings that Dallas experienced were back in 2008 and before that, according to officials, the area had never recorded a tremor above 3.0. Since 2008 the USGS (United States Gelogical Survey) area has recorded one every year except for 2010. Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics theorizes that the link between the recent seismic activity and the recent use of an underground area, very close to DFW, to collect waste water from fracking is pretty high.
I wasn’t aware of a term called “flowback” until I began to do my research and found that the EPA coined this term to describe water coming up to the surface from fracked wells. We now know that an excessive amount of water is pumped into wells to extract natural gas, but we didn’t know until now was that the water left over from the process is sometimes pushed back to the surface due to internal pressure. Where does that all that water go? They pump it back into the Earth where it acts as a lube on the fault line plates. These plates that remained “stuck” are now lubricated and are free to move causing quakes. The movement under the Dallas area is said to been caused by this very thing.
Another eye opening statistic came from Frohlich in a recent study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Frohlich analyzed 67 earthquakes recorded between November 2009 and September 2011 in a 43.5-mile (70 kilometer) grid covering northern Texas’ Barnett Shale formation. He found that all 24 of the earthquakes with the most reliably located epicenters originated within 2 miles (3.2 km) of one or more injection wells for wastewater disposal.
Do you remember that earthquake last year in DC? It was around 5.8 and it was a pretty big deal since that area is not known for seismic activity. It may have been the result of fracking just like the ones this past weekend in Dallas… and the one in Arkansas around the same time. Same thing man. Freaky right? The idea that we are now creating earthquakes is a very sad and dangerous thought. Not only are we ruining our planet on the outside and in the surrounding environment but now we have moved below the surface; there is no safe ground anymore and we’re slowly destroying the planet from every which way.