Home > Latest News > Environmental Health > Environmental Protection >

Scientists Confirm Fracking Linked To Ohio Earthquakes

September 6, 2013
Environmental Protection

As opposition to the controversial practice of gas fracking grows in the UK, scientists have revealed that the waste water produced from the activity has been responsible for a series of earthquakes in Ohio. Prior to January 2011 the town of Youngstown had never experienced an earthquake, but following the commissioning of the Northstar 1 fracking well there were 109 recorded incidents in the following 12 months. Whilst none of the quakes caused any injury or damage, some were felt as far away as Pennsylvania. Columbia University Seismologist Wo-Young Kim told Live Science that the injection of waste fluid from fracking was to blame; “Earthquakes were triggered by fluid injection shortly after the injection initiated ? less than two weeks.”

The earthquakes were centered in an ancient fault near Northstar 1 and scientists believe the practice of injecting waste water back into the ground damaged the existing faultline, creating a series of earthquakes. To date none of the other 177 waste water disposal wells operating in Ohio since 2011 have reported any similar incidents. Wo-Young-Kim is convinced that techniques need to improve if more issues are to be avoided in the future; “we need to find better ways to image hidden subsurface faults and fractures, which is costly at the moment. If there are hidden subsurface faults near the injection wells, then sooner or later they can trigger earthquakes.”

custom term papers