2015 Archives

State lawmakers quiz scientists on earthquake study


The following is from the May 4, 2015, edition of The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

May 6, 2015

By Max Baker
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram

On a day that small earthquakes continued to shake North Texas, Southern Methodist University researchers testified before a House committee on Monday about their study linking a swarm of previous temblors near Azle and Reno to oil and gas operations.

While no one linked earthquakes recorded near Irving and Dallas in recent days to drilling, lawmakers at the state Capitol were definitely interested in getting a better understanding of what is making the ground shake with more regularity in the Metroplex. . . 

SMU professors Brian Stump and Matthew Hornbach testified before the committee, along with Jon Olson from the University of Texas at Austin, about the study published late last month in the scientific journal Nature Communications regarding 27 earthquakes that occurred northwest of Fort Worth from November 2013 to January 2014.

After analyzing 3D modeling and reviewing historical data on earthquake activity in the area, the researchers concluded that the tremors were not caused by natural phenomenon, such as drought conditions or a natural shift of the Earth’s plates, but by oil and gas activity.

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