Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fracking Wastewater Disposal Linked to Remotely Triggered Quakes

An fracturing oil rig in Garfield County.
Photograph by Lynn Johnson, National Geographic
Water impoundments like this one beside a Colorado oil rig are typical at hydraulic fracturing sites. Underground disposal of the wastewater after fracking may increase seismic risks from remote earthquakes, a new study says.

Fracking for oil and natural gas, and the underground disposal of wastewater that occurs in the process, has been linked to earthquakes in recent years. Now seismologists have discovered a new twist in that relationship, finding that wastewater injection can also contribute to temblors induced remotely by faraway seismic events.