Seismologists baffled by string of over 100 earthquakes in Oklahoma


Residents and scientists have a wide variety of theories on what is causing the ground to shake in Oklahoma

By Staff Writer

(INTELLIHUB) —It was reported that there were over 100 earthquakes in Oklahoma last week.  Seismologists have no solid explanation, but there are many different groups in disagreement about who is to blame.

Some say that this is a result of fracking, while others blame the water management system, then others actually suggest that it may be some sort of military testing.  One thing that we do know for sure is that earthquakes have escalated in number and intensity in recent years.

According to earthquake monitors EQ Charts, between 1990 and 2008 there were between 0 and 11 earthquakes of magnitude 2.0 or greater in Oklahoma every year. In 2009 there were 49. In 2010 there were 180. In 2013 there were 291, and 2014 already promises to be a record breaking year just two months in.

“You hear a loud ‘WAM!’ and you hear this loud rattle-rattle-rattle,” said Tracey Romberger, who lives near the center of this latest swarm of earthquakes between Oklahoma City and the town of Guthrie. She described the sound as “like somebody was dropping a bomb, or a cannon going off.”

“It’s incredibly unusual,” said Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geologic Survey. “We’ve had swarms that are similar in nature but I don’t think we’ve had one with quite the numbers we’ve had.”

“We do know there have been some earthquakes caused by oil and gas activity in the state,” Holland, the research seismologist, said. “The hard part is figuring out which is which.”

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