Weatherford Democrat

December 17, 2013

County sees second earthquake in last week


Weatherford Democrat

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Yet another small earthquake rattled northeast Parker County shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday, the second quake in the area during the last week. 

The earthquake measured at a 2.8 magnitude and had an epicenter south of Springtown, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which has recorded 22 earthquakes ranging between 2.2 and 3.7 in magnitude in the Azle area and three minor earthquakes in the northeast part of Palo Pinto County, as well, since Nov. 5.  

Southern Methodist University is placing seismic monitoring equipment in the Reno and Azle area to obtain better data regarding where the earthquakes are originating. 

Though it’s not clear what is causing the recent swarm of earthquakes, some experts say that it is possible that injection wells may be contributing.

“We’ve asked our staff to take a look at that, and they’re embarking upon that right now,” Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Barry Smitherman told the Democrat last week. “I think what we’re going to do is in the near future we’re going to have a town hall meeting here and we’ll gather more evidence and have people share their experiences with us and then we’ll probably ask, say, the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology or someone else qualified and experienced, to do a study of the issue.”