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Earth Science

Earthquake Warning Issued For Central Oklahoma 127

New submitter bobbied (2522392) writes "A rare warning has been issued by the US Geological survey today, warning of an increased risk of a damaging earthquake (magnitude 5.0 or greater) in central Oklahoma. There have been more earthquakes in Oklahoma (per mile) than California this year, prompting the USGS to issue their warning today (May 5, 2014).

This warning is the first such warning to be issued for a state east of the Rockies."
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Earthquake Warning Issued For Central Oklahoma

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  • by hcs_$reboot (1536101) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:33AM (#46926289)
    Finding out when (ie soon) and where an earthquake will occur is still almost pure luck. Of course, when the frequency of EQ is high, the probability that a bigger one happens is higher. But that almost the best we can predict. After the Tohoku EQ in Japan in 2011, amazing predictions were made by "specialists": a "big one" to occur in Tokyo within a couple of days, the Fuji mt to erupt soon, etc... nothing happened. (the cumulative probabilities of a big one in Tokyo was more than 90% at the time!).
    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      Pure luck - maybe, but the quakes may show that something is going on. Don't forget that not far away (geologically speaking) is New Madrid where there was some considerable quakes (7.1 to 8.1) 200 years ago.

    • by KliX (164895)

      Do you understand what a probability is?

      • What don't you understand in my post?
        • He probably just doesn't understand why you even bothered posting it. Nobody said there would definitely be a big one, they are just saying that the probability is high.

    • by SimonInOz (579741)

      >> There have been more earthquakes in Oklahoma (per mile)
      What the heck does that even mean? Do they mean per square mile? Cubic mile? (And OMG, when will USA finally give up on miles ... geez)

    • "Of course, when the frequency of EQ is high, the probability that a bigger one happens is higher."

      You maybe talking about cumulative probabilities across multiple faults, but if we're talking about a single fault, then more frequent earthquakes generally mean that each earthquake is 'smaller', as opposed to infrequent fault slips that allow tectonic forces to build up so that when it finally does break free, that earthquake is 'bigger'.

      • Actually the "cumulative probability" was related to the wrong big one predictions in Tokyo: at first, it was said the big one will happen within a couple of days (after 3/11) within ~70% probability, then, after a couple of weeks (since nothing happened), it will happen within a year with ~70% proba... retroactively, if you position yourself in the past, the cumulative probas of all "big one certainties" tend to be very high!
  • by Anna Merikin (529843) on Tuesday May 06, 2014 @03:37AM (#46926301) Journal

    The joint statement indicates that a likely contributing factor to the increase in earthquakes is wastewater disposal by injection into deep geologic formations. The water injection can increase underground pressures, lubricate faults and cause earthquakes – a process known as injection-induced seismicity. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose. The recent earthquake rate changes are not due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates.

    'Nuff said.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You realize that oil drilling only goes about 2.2 km deep, while most earth quakes are ten km deep?

    • these wells pump poisons into a geological formation that is moving around? Isn't it at least possible that these poisons can move along these "rock cracks", and, eventually get into our aquifers?

    • When I read the originally released "list of fracking chemicals" I concluded that "fracking fluid" was a code word for "refinery waste". I see, sadly, that I was correct.

      Out here in California you can get cited as if you'd spilled transmission fluid for a vegetable oil spill in your home biodiesel facility. And meanwhile, states are pumping refinery byproducts into the ground deliberately and getting paid for it.

      It's all gone mad.

    • The US capitol is very prone to earthquake damage. And it turns out that is is surrounded by shale formations where fracking is or could occur. The Marcellus Shale formation to the North and now "The Taylorsville basin runs through some of Virginia and across the Potomac River to cover much of Charles County, some of Prince George’s and up to Annapolis. That basin was assessed and found to contain an estimated 1,064 billion cubic feet of natural gas" to the South surround it. http://www.washingtonp [washingtonpost.com]
    • Well this is what happens when we delve too greedily, too deep. We awaken things.
    • by jlowery (47102)

      Nice to know the fracking 1% will be getting theirs. And nice to know Oklahomans will feel the trickle-down effects, also.

  • This area was tested for nuclear waste disposal, Yucca Mountain won out.
    This area is a basalt range, and no problem for future earthquakes (claimed), yes we have Mt.s St. Helen but that's the edge of two plates.

    Politics and other things I'm not privy to moved the burial site away, but if Oklahoma is having earthquake warnings, not sure what to say actually.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      A basalt range means that the area has seen volcanoes. Basalt usually cracks into hexagonal prisms when it cools which in turn makes the ground "leaking".

      And volcanoes means potential earthquakes.

    • by RockDoctor (15477)

      This area was tested for nuclear waste disposal, Yucca Mountain won out.

      Are you referring to the Oak Ridge [google.com] complex? ISTR that that was only being considered as a nuclear waste storage/ disposal site because it already had a lot of material on site. And it's in Tennessee, several hundred miles away from the area under discussion.

      This area is a basalt range, and no problem for future earthquakes (claimed), yes we have Mt.s St. Helen but that's the edge of two plates.

      I don't know much about the geology of Amer

      • Washington State, the proposed waste site was called Gable mountain, while it was shutdown over night - I found out why with this reply "These sensors recorded recent movement in the supposedly sable basalt. One fault had been generated by an earthquake estimated at 5.5 on the Richter scale that had occurred within the last 2000 years. To geologists with nuclear disposal on their minds, that was far too recent, and the Gable Mountain project was abandoned. "
        http://www.northcolumbiamonthl... [northcolumbiamonthly.com]

        Not Oak Ridge thi

        • by RockDoctor (15477)
          Yeah, the US has a fine population of ostriches growing there. Britain is no better.

          My proposition (for 25 years now, since I was trying to get work on a nuclear site and thought about these things), is that since the difficult thing is ensuring long-term maintenance of the store, then the logical place to put is is directly beneath the government's main building. So that if the politicians cut the maintenance budget too much, they're the first to die.

          It works for London - the London Clay is an adequately

    • So now they have Tornados and Earthquakes?

      Definitely not moving there.

  • Urgent Earthquake Watch â" Yellowstone , Southern California, New Madrid, East Coast, PNW

    http://dutchsinse.tatoott1009.... [tatoott1009.com]

  • And now earthquakes. OK just can't catch a break.

    • by AioKits (1235070)
      Don't worry, we're prepared. Since we took a huge dump on our roads/highways funding, the potholes are now large enough that if you see a tornado that you should swerve your car into one and it should just pass you right by.
  • That is all.

    • ...and no it's not fracking. The faults already existed, the only thing that fracking may have done is lubricate those faults, they still would've happened eventually.
      • by koan (80826)

        So pretty much fracking.

        • as I said, a contributor, but no...not the cause.
        • Although I'm not a fan of fracking, it's entirely possible this is preventing more devastating quakes by relieving stress in these faults in smaller increments.

      • ...and no it's not fracking. The faults already existed, the only thing that fracking may have done is lubricate those faults, they still would've happened eventually.

        Unaided those earthquakes would have happened anyway, on the normal geologic timescale of some time in the next thousand years.

        But I agree with you, it's not fracking, it's wastewater disposal. We've known since the 50's that you don't pump water into areas that are not stable. What's going to happen is the state is going to do very little until there's an earthquake that does major damage. Then the Feds are going to get involved and things will finally get done.

        Also, at some point, some random idiot with

  • More earthquakes in Oklahoma. Thanks Obama!

  • Why treat the waste when you can just bury it?

    Nothing could go wrong when pumping large amounts of solvents into the ground at high pressure!

    We should dump our nuclear waste in the same way! It'll be great!

    Wait a second...

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