ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – KMOX listeners has callers from both Missouri and Illinois reporting they felt an earthquake, Saturday morning, just after seven.
Indeed, a record-tying quake centered on the edge of Oklahoma’s key energy-producing areas rattled the Midwest and likely will focus new attention to the practice of disposing oil and gas field wastewater deep underground.
That’s according to St. Louis University geophysics professor Bob Herrmann, “Earthquakes like this are not new in Oklahoma. That state has been a hot spot in the country for the last four years. This earthquake, when you consider all the quakes we’ve studied in the eastern United States in the past 100 years, is probably the 3rd or 4th largest one.”
Herrmann says where the oil is extracted, a lot of water comes with it, and that water must be disposed.
The most convenient way is to pump it back into the ground.
Except, Herrmann says that practice is lubricating ancient faults, and they have been stressed for a long time.
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our earlier story:
CHICAGO (AP) One of the largest earthquakes in Oklahoma was felt Saturday morning from Nebraska to North Texas.
The 5.6 magnitude earthquake happened at 7:02 a.m. Saturday in north-central Oklahoma, The United States Geological Survey said. That ties for Oklahoma’s strongest earthquake on record, the first coming in November 2011. No major damage was immediately reported.
An increase in magnitude 3.0 or greater earthquakes in Oklahoma has been linked to underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production. State regulators have asked producers to reduce wastewater disposal volumes in earthquake-prone regions of the state. Some parts of Oklahoma now match northern California for the nation’s most shake prone, and one Oklahoma region has a 1 in 8 chance of a damaging quake in 2016, with other parts closer to 1 in 20.
People in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; and Norman, Oklahoma, all reported feeling the earthquake. Dallas TV station WFAA tweeted that the quake shook their studios, too.
Saturday’s quake was centered about 9 miles northwest of Pawnee, Oklahoma. Earlier this week, the same spot, which is about 70 miles northeast of Oklahoma City, saw a magnitude 3.2 temblor.
Sean Weide in Omaha, Nebraska, told The Associated Press that he’d never been in an earthquake before and thought he was getting dizzy. Weide said he and one of his daughters “heard the building start creaking” and said it “was surreal.”
(© Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)