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Thread: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

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    Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Wasn't sure if this is a conspiracy or not, but fracking has already caused serious problems in other states.


    Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?


    Posted 6 hours ago by Gary DeMar

    I saw a few posts on Facebook about the unusual number of earthquakes taking place in Oklahoma. After researching Oklahoma earthquakes online, I found that there are hundreds of recorded earthquakes which are being attributed to the oil and gas industry and “hydraulic fracturing” (fracking).

    Most of the earthquakes are taking place in the same region and are unnoticeable except by seismological detection devices. Even so, it's important to find out why.




    If fracking is the culprit in Oklahoma, then why are “regions that are hotbeds of fracking activity, such as North Dakota,” not “experiencing Oklahoma’s seismic spike”?

    Could it be that fracking is not the culprit?

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc. “After this, therefore because of this.” Just because an event or series of events occur after another event or series of events does not mean the one is the cause of the other.
    ◾The rooster crows before sunrise, therefore the crowing rooster causes the sun to rise.
    ◾A baseball player wears his “lucky socks” for every game because the first time he wore them he got three hits.
    ◾If the president hadn’t told the “funny hat” joke, he wouldn’t have lost Texas in the election.

    The following is from an episode of the The West Wing ("Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc"):



    Fracking

    In effect, there could be another cause for what Oklahoma is experiencing, and it may have little to do with fracking as the following article excerpt points out:

    “One researcher, a Tulsa geologist, is now suggesting something else may be at work -- the weather and aquifers.




    “‘Where these quakes have occurred,’ explained Jean Antonides, ‘they all have occurred around these aquifers.’

    “Aquifers are essentially underground reservoirs -- a body of permeable rock, through which water can pass easily. There are many in Oklahoma, and the amount of water they contain can be affected by both weather and human activity.

    “Antonides says his research shows that aquifers near the location of certain earthquakes had been depleted, through both drought and increased human demand, and then suddenly refilled, through intense and heavy rains.

    “‘When you have rainfall amounts of six inches over a few day period,’ Antonides pointed out, ‘these rainfalls cover a thousand square miles -- that's a lot of weight.’

    “That much new weight – potentially trillions of tons -- if it's along or across a fault, can be enough to cause an earthquake.

    “‘If you change the weight, relative near surface, across that fault -- either reducing the weight on one side, loading up the other side or vice versa,’ Antonides explained, ‘that could be the trigger point.’

    “Antonides' paper lays out evidence that this hydrologic loading could have triggered, not only the Prague earthquake, but last April's 4.3 magnitude quake in Luther, a 5.8 M quake in Virginia in 2011, and others. University of Oklahoma research seismologist Austin Holland says he may be right.”



    At this point, no one really knows. The knee-jerk reaction is to blame it on the oil and gas industry. “‘The key is putting everything out there, and looking at all the possibilities,’ Antonides insisted.”

    Read more at Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    I think the salient point is not whether fracking caused the earthquakes (it probably did) but that the earthquakes are so small that people can't detect them. There is no reason to think fracking would cause bad earthqualkes. It is just too small an issue for the planet.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warwulf View Post
    If fracking is the culprit in Oklahoma, then why are “regions that are hotbeds of fracking activity, such as North Dakota,” not “experiencing Oklahoma’s seismic spike”? Could it be that fracking is not the culprit?
    It could. But different regions have different geological structures. It's entirely plausible that fracking can have no effect on seismic activity in one region, while influencing another.

    Jumping to conclusions in this matter is not advisable. That includes jumping to the conclusion that "it can't possibly be caused by fracking!"

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    I haven't a fracking clue.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Visbek View Post
    It could. But different regions have different geological structures. It's entirely plausible that fracking can have no effect on seismic activity in one region, while influencing another.

    Jumping to conclusions in this matter is not advisable. That includes jumping to the conclusion that "it can't possibly be caused by fracking!"
    Considering the technique of fracking has been around for at least 65 years, I suggest there has been quite a bit of jumping to conclusions going on in the past few years.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Without a doubt yes.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    I once thought so, but not anymore.

    A geologist friend of mine - who despises fracking by the way on other principle - told me that would be like knocking over an elephant with a feather. He made a strong case that fracking isn't invasive enough to cause a major tectonic shift of any kind.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Warwulf View Post
    Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?
    Without a doubt, yes. Apparently, from what I understand, it has to do with the way they inject the toxic waste back into the ground that causes the geological disruptions. But whether it is that or the intended seismic workings of their billions of gallons of pressurized water, or the gap left behind from that which they drill, it is definitely the fracking. I wonder how T. Boone Pickens feels about all of this. And hey, where's all the water going? Aren't people worried about a drought all over the place, and yet, nobody can figure out where all of the water is going?

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Erod View Post
    I once thought so, but not anymore.

    A geologist friend of mine - who despises fracking by the way on other principle - told me that would be like knocking over an elephant with a feather. He made a strong case that fracking isn't invasive enough to cause a major tectonic shift of any kind.
    A geologist that I know explained it to me that what they do, before fracking is that they drill straight down say 5000 meters, where aquifers are at the deepest 1500 m (I'm sure I'm totally screwing up the numbers), and the charges they use will blow 20 m, 10 up and 10 down (or more likely 15 up and 5 down according to his estimation), and that allows the horizontal drilling towards the well.

    Point is, with 3500 meters of rock separating the charge from any potential aquifer, it would be an incredible exception that a fracture in the rock would extend that far out.

    What he said the problem is with all the charges against fracking is that many aquifers are tainted with methane deposits, heavy metals, or any other things that were there before fracking... and in every case either there was no testing done beforehand to accurately compare a before and after.

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    Re: Is Fracking Causing the Oklahoma Earthquakes?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    I haven't a fracking clue.
    That's old school.

    Anyways, I'd like more evidence before judging whether fracking can or cannot cause any tiny earthquakes that don't matter, never mind anything bigger if that's where this is heading.
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