The following is from the March 1, 2017, edition of The Dallas Morning News. Heather DeShon, associate professor of geophysics and leader of a research team that examined the cause of earthquakes in North Texas, provided expertise for this story.
March 1, 2017
By Anna Kuchment
North Texas is at the heart of a new scientific puzzle: Where did all the earthquakes go?
Quakes that started rattling the area around Dallas in 2008 came to a virtual halt last year, according to a new report by federal scientists. That means the area's risk of experiencing a damaging quake dropped sharply — to less than 1 percent — for 2017, according to a one-year national earthquake forecast released by the U.S. Geological Survey Wednesday morning. . . .
The agency's scientists have linked the quakes here to oil and gas operations. They said the absence of major quakes in the area last year may be linked to a drop in energy activity in North Texas because of low oil and gas prices.
But other scientific experts warn against making too much of the short-term drop.
”Earthquake rates in North Texas have always been variable year to year,” said Heather DeShon, a seismologist at Southern Methodist University and a leading researcher on local quakes. “In fact 2016 doesn’t look any different than 2010 or 2011” — two other years when earthquakes went on a hiatus.
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