An earthquake with a 4.2M (magnitude) was reported 18.6 miles Northwest from Fairview, Oklahoma on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, on 20:45 p.m. Oklahoma’s News 9 reported yesterday, Jan. 18, a 3.7M event shook the same area. It was three miles deep and no injuries or damages were reported. This evening, six people have reported feeling these tremors, similarly, there was no mention of injuries or damages to the area.
The United States Geological Survey maintains that seismic shifts east of the Rocky Mountains can often have tremors that can be felt over a larger region than in the West. The earthquakes that are felt are linked to the faulting, or the fissures within the bedrock, or the rock lying underneath the surface of the earth. Unlike the question of the plate boundary in California, the San Andreas Fault is so large that it is classified as a system, and allows for scientists to use current geologic evidence to predict future rumblings. The faulting system in the East is based on the smaller faults that were active in the past geologic era. An estimate of future earthquakes can only be made using an assessment of historical records.
There is also evidence that human behavior can trigger seismic activity. Actions can stress the earth’s crust and also induce faulting, like the pressure of waters behind a dam. Injection or extraction of fluid or gas from the earth’s crust, and the removal of rock from mining impact tectonic plates. The International Business Times has reported that due to fracking, Oklahoma has been experiencing more tremors, and has actually surpassed California, in 2014, as the earthquake capital of the United States. Oklahoma had been shaken by close to 700 earthquakes with a 3.0M or higher in 2015.
By Juanita Lewis
News9: 3.7 Magnitude Earthquake Recorded Near Fairview
USGS: M4.8 – 32km NW of Fairview, Oklahoma
International Business Times: Oklahoma Earthquakes 2015: Tremors Rise As Oklahoma Officials Struggle To Stem Fracking Wastewater Flow
Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey’s Flickr Page, Creative Commons License