Earthquakes

CATASTROPHE MAP RESEARCH:

Anthropogenic Earthquake CatMap

EARTHQUAKE UPDATE:

  • April 22, 2015: OKLAHOMA AUTHORITIES HAVE DECIDED TO STOP LYING ABOUT THE CONNECTION BETWEEN EARTHQUAKES AND WASTEWATER DISPOSAL WELLS: After five years of denying that the oil and gas industry was causing earthquake swarms in places that had never experiences seismic activity before, Oklahoma state officials have accepted what geologists around the country have known for a couple of years.

    On April 21, 2015, the Oklahoma Geological Survey released a statement saying in part that it was “very likely that the majority of recent earthquakes, particularly those in central and north-central Oklahoma, are triggered by the injection of produced water in disposal wells.” The state, which is dominated by the oil and gas industry, has launched an Energy and Environment Cabinet interactive website that links to the scientific studies showing the relationship between the disposal of drilling waste and the quakes.

    While on the one hand we applaud the admission, it is important to point out that the Oklahoma government spend years denying it. This is not a unique pattern among government officials owned by industrial interests.

    The Oklahoma oil and gas industry continues to question the science, and the state has imposed no restrictions on the practice.

  • March 12, 2015: If you want to know what causes earthquakes in Oklahoma, don’t ask the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Even though they get paid by taxpayers, they serve at the pleasure of the Oil and Gas Industry. While state geologists publicly deny a connection between deep injection disposal wells and the huge uptick in earthquake swarms, their e-mail trail says otherwise. Read more here
  • The stonewalling by authorities in North Texas is moving into high gear as the commissioner for the Railroad Commission of Texas decided he wasn’t taking questions from a group of angry citizens. The area has been plagued by property-damage causing earthquakes since the introduction of gas and oil waste deep storage wells in the area. Same scenario in Oklahoma and Arkansas. Read more here.
HUMAN INDUCED EARTHQUAKES | INTRODUCTIONTable of Contents

  • Section 1: Drilling / Wastewater Injection
  • Section 2: Hydroelectric Projects
  • Section 3: Mining
  • Section 4: Nuclear Blasts
  • Section 5: Global Warming
  • Section 6: HAARP Earthquake Weapon
  • Section 7: Angry Earth Deity

    Humans cause earthquakes. The scientific term “induced seismicity” refers to this common occurrence.We homo sapiens have been triggering ever more powerful and ever more frequent tremors, earthquake swarms and large scale seismic disasters for decades.. Few geologists will bother to quibble with that statement, although they are often reticent about the topic.However, the degree and extent to which hominids are able to engineer the shaking, trembling and occasional collapse of the planet’s crust is a separate and more complex question. You may be surprised at the answers. In this seven section report, we will first examine the recognized human activities that result in earthquakes, and then move into areas that are more speculative, but certainly also possible.

    Human ability to screw things up in the natural world continues to escalate exponentially in both scale and range. We can excavate a new canyon in a matter of a few years. We can flatten a mountain in a matter of months. We can reduce a major city to rubble in a few seconds, when it previously required days of pillaging and plundering.

    In spite of these clear realities, the notion that humans cause earthquakes surprises many people. We are conditioned to believe that quakes are a force of nature (or Providence) and not within the power of mankind. While most quakes are natural, it is well within our ever swelling destructive potential to trigger them in our quest for energy, resources and food and power.

    In the most general sense, an earthquake is caused by an abrupt release of energy in the Earth’s crust. This generates seismic waves that merely shake the ground at the low end of the magnitude range, and cause cataclysmic up thrusting of mountains and cracking open of crevasses at the upper end. No human induced quakes have thrust up mountains that we know of, but three of the most destructive earthquakes of the past twenty-five years were triggered by our activities.

    The earth’s crust is comprised of tectonic plates, which meet at intersections we call faults. Most quakes occur naturally along these fault lines, or unnaturally, for example, when the DOE decides to drop a 200 megaton nuke on one to see what happens (see Section 4). But recent human activity has produced earthquakes in places where faults are not supposed to be and where no quake has ever occurred.

    So while it is true that the vast majority of quakes are indeed naturally occurring, an increasing number of them are triggered by humans through processes that have never before been possible. Earthquakes are induced by creating or reducing stresses on the planets crust. Humans now have lots of ways to do this.

    The corporations and governments that back the large scale engineering and military projects which cause earthquakes have limited interest in publicizing this fact. Quite the opposite in fact. Governments and corporations almost universally serve the interests of power and profit first, and if some greater good also results it is usually a side effect. When dozens or millions of low use citizens1 suffer disruption or death because of induced earthquakes, it is virtually impossible to establish an ironclad causal scenario for something that happens underground.

    Nevertheless, even to the casual observer, it seems that occurrences of monumentally tragic quakes (Haiti 2007), preternaturally destructive quakes (Sendai, Japan 2011) and or downright unlikely quakes (Atlantic Coast, USA 2011) have become far more common in the last few decades. Further, there has been an increase in unusual volcanic activity, such as the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland. This smoking monster virtually shut down European air traffic for weeks in 2011. And let’s not overlook the “super volcano” beneath Yellowstone, which is either ready to blow any second, might erupt sometime in the near future or could wait to blow for millennia. Virtually no one had been concerned about this quasi science fiction scenario until recently. Is this a result of media attention, or is something going on? The answer could be all of the above.

    A church interior in Lorca, Spain is exposed by the 2011 tremor, which was a moderate 5.1 on the Richter scale, but packed a huge punch because of its shallow epicenter. The quake was attributed to withdrawal of massive amounts of groundwater. Using satellite images, scientists from Canada, Italy and Spain found the quake ruptured a fault running near a basin that had been weakened by 50 years of groundwater extraction in the area.

    Whereas members of the public have been known to believe all sorts of things that aren’t true, we expect more from seismologists. They too have noted an increase in violent, higher magnitude events at the upper end of the Richter scale. Ironically, this uptick is not irrefutable precisely because the means of measuring such data has improved in the past few decades. As a result, we are likely to be registering more events than previously due to superior instrumentation. This is not a strictly level statistical playing field and for this reason we are unable to make scientifically rigorous comparisons with regard to long term trends. So some geologists say activity is increasing, others say they can’t tell. No one, however, says higher magnitude seismic activity is decreasing.

    “Almost Certainly Manmade” Increase in Earthquake Swarms
    On the low to mid-range portion of the seismic spectrum, after years of flying under the radar, earthquake swarms are suddenly capturing the public’s attention, albeit in the same nervous way we remark the weather has been a little strange lately. For those of you who have missed the fleeting coverage, earthquake swarms are series of small to medium sized tremors that make up in frequency what they usually lack in destructive power. These events are taking place in disparate locations across the country: Arkansas, Colorado, Youngstown, Oklahoma, Maine, Montana, West Virginia, Texas.

    Flying in the face of oil and gas company denial, a highly credible report that pointedly indicates an intensification of earthquakes was issued in April of 2012 by the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S). It confirms that the American central interior region is experiencing an “unprecedented” and “almost certainly manmade” increase in earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude or greater. The year 2011 was a hallmark with 134 events of plus 3.0, or six times more than the 20th century average. The report identifies a quantifiable trend beginning in 2001, with significant acceleration beginning in 2009. A graph of this trend corresponds directly with the oil and gas bonanza currently gripping the better part of the country. This phenomenon is the subject of Section I, and undoubtedly commands the most public awareness among our topics.

    Report Outline
    Sections 2 – 4 present straightforward cases for three other categories of human induced earthquakes and present cause and effect scenarios verified by science. The seismic incidents described in those sections are mostly low to mid-range events (although at least two lethal major quakes have been attributed to them).

    It is inherently sensible to attribute earthquakes to obviously disruptive processes such as oil and gas extraction, quarrying, mountaintop removal, fluid injection, groundwater removal, nuclear explosions and mega-dams. But is something else much larger going on, something that sounds irrational at first, but might also be true? As we move up the spiral of causal factors, we will begin to ask: Do any of these scenarios apply on scales greater than local or regional? Planetary catastrophic trends are defined by a common pattern: cyclical natural events exacerbated by human intervention. Is it possible then that some or all of these human activities magnify their effects at a global level? Some (but not all) of the content of the later sections is speculative, but we suggest they can’t be proven beyond the shadow of the doubt either way. But it’s important to ask the questions.

    Gas and Oil Drilling | Underground Fracking Waste Injection | Massive Groundwater Extraction
    Hydroelectric projects, dams and other mega construction
    Underground nuclear explosions
    Mining activities | Geothermal projects
    Global warming
    HAARP Earthquake Bomb (that’s right – it’s the government)
    Mojo Nature | Metaphysical (That’s right – it’s an angry deity)


    INTRO NOTES:
    1. Low Use Segment of the Population: This term was used by the government following WWII with regard to determining whether to warn citizens living near nuclear test sites of possible dangers from radiation.
    2. Or perhaps we should say: anyone willing to talk about it.

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