ICYMI: Caltech Seismologist Debunks Activists’ Accusations Linking California Earthquakes to Fracking

ICYMI: Caltech Seismologist Debunks Activists’ Accusations Linking California Earthquakes to Fracking

April 23, 2015

In a front page story in today’s Los Angeles Times, a Caltech seismologist invalidated extreme activists’ false accusations linking hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes in California.
According to the story:

“In California, wastewater wells in the Los Angeles Basin are not believed to cause earthquakes, according to Caltech seismologist Egill Hauksson, who was not involved in the USGS report. Earthquakes aren’t observed to be clustered in oil fields in Southern California, he said.

“In California, scientists say different oil extraction practices may be why earthquakes aren’t occurring due to wastewater injection here.

“One factor is that the Los Angeles Basin’s petroleum deposits are thick with oil. But in Oklahoma, workers need to break up dense shale rock to get the oil out of it, Hauksson said, which results in more toxic wastewater.

“Another difference: In Southern California, wastewater is generally injected back into watertight traps where the oil came from. In Oklahoma, the wastewater is disposed of outside the oil fields and injected below the groundwater aquifer, where it can trickle down and trigger movement on a long-dormant fault, Hauksson said.

“Fracking has been conducted in the last few years in Southern California, including at the Inglewood and La Brea oil fields, Hauksson said, and wastewater has been injected back into the ground. But studies show that out of 1,400 disposal wells in the southern San Joaquin Valley, earthquakes were possibly related to activities at only four of them. And there’s no obvious connection between quakes and the 72 oil fields in the Los Angeles Basin.”

To read this story in its entirety, visit: http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-man-made-quakes-20150424-story.html#page=1

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