After a shaky weekend, the work week is off to a shaky start as well. Early this morning a 3.9 magnitude earthquake shook Medford.
During the weekend Oklahoma was rocked by seven earthquakes. The largest was a 4.3 magnitude quake in Langston on Saturday. There were no reports of damage or major injury.
The other quakes on Saturday were much smaller. And on Sunday there were three more quakes, with one registering 4.0.
These earthquakes are part of a trend in the state. As of last month, Oklahoma had surpassed California for the number of earthquakes this year.
Oklahoma has always had earthquakes but not in nearly this number. From 1978 to 2008, Oklahoma had an average of two quakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. As of June 19, 2014, there were 207 quakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater in the state, says USGS.
The increase began in 2009 with 20 quakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater, and the number has been increasing every year since, other than 2013.
Several studies have pointed to disposal wells used in oil and gas drill as the possible cause of the earthquake increase. While linking each earthquake to the wells is very difficult the overall trend does seem to have a link.
One of the studies showing this link was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, led by USGS geophysicist, William Ellsworth.
“Something is going on out of the ordinary,” Ellsworth said. “The largest preponderance of evidence,” he said, points to the Oklahoma and Colorado quakes and the rise in the number of midcontinent earthquakes being caused by injection of wastewater from oil and gas drilling. –read more
There is also a growing concern that Oklahoma could experience a large, damaging earthquake. Back in the spring, the U.S. Geological Survey issued an Earthquake Warning for the state. Oklahomans are being urged to prepare for earthquakes and to be sure they have earthquake insurance.
Have you been feeling the earthquakes? Are you worried about a large quake hitting the state? Share in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
Map Credit: U.S. Geological Survey
Department of the Interior/USGS
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