Geologist says fault line, not fracking, to blame for East Texas earthquakes
POSTED: Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 6:04pm
UPDATED: Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 1:20pm
TYLER - "You'll notice the area here. Here's Rusk, Panola, and Shelby Counties. These are the locations of the two most recent earthquakes.The one to the west was the first earthquake and you see it occurs right on this fault line, and then the most recent earthquake is a little further east."
John Carr is a geologist with Carr Enterprises, and he's been following the last two earthquakes that occurred here in East Texas.
"This is a natural event, it's on a very large existing fault system that's called the Mount Enterprise System.
The last quake we're told had it's epicenter, right along the fault line, and the one that occurred Thursday morning just a few miles east, also on the fault line. Also, we're told last week's shake up, was called a foreshock.
"A foreshock means the stress was relieved and then there was a larger release after that. So, you might think of it as the beginning, and there might yet be another one."
Carr says the chances are decent of East Texas seeing at least one more, but that most likely it would be minor, follow the fault line further east and possibly not even be felt.
But, what about fraking? Could it just be coincidence the earthquakes fell on the fault lines, and fraking was really to blame?
Carr says, if fraking was to blame, there's one problem, depth.
"These are horizontally bedded sediments, at that depth, the rocks are so compressed the only way to get gas and oil out of them is to fracture them. Where those earthquakes are happening is not up here but all the way down in here to an area that's the upper, very upper most part of the crust where you have crystal and rocks that's where the earthquakes originate, not up in here."