Weatherford Democrat

Front Page

January 19, 2014

Scientific shakedown on quakes

Decades-old evidence cites injection process as a trigger for earthquakes, but can’t yet be linked to area’s recent tremors

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Scientists have known for some 50 years that injection can lead to seismic activity, according to one researcher studying the Azle earthquakes.

However, it’s not always an easy thing to determine whether a particular injection well is or isn’t causing earthquakes and USGS researcher William Ellsworth, a geophysicist working with a research team from SMU and other colleagues to study the dozens of recent small earthquakes near Azle, isn’t making any promises.

“The scientific evidence has really been very conclusive since the 1960s about how injection can induce earthquakes,” Ellsworth said. “It doesn’t prove that any particular well is responsible but the mechanism is well understood. And often what we lack is enough information to really tie pieces together to associate activity with a particular well or to rule out an association.”

Researchers aren’t sure when they may have more information to present to the community regarding the Azle earthquakes.

“It all depends on what data may tell us and interpretations of these kind of results often contain some ambiguity so we can’t promise something that we can’t deliver,” Ellsworth said.

Injection wells are used to inject into the ground, through layers of rock and shale, waste fluids used in oil and gas drilling operations. There are reportedly several injection wells in the area near Reno that officials have cited as the epicenter of the recent Azle-area quakes.

Ellsworth couldn’t say whether the seismic activity in the area might have been triggered by human activity.

“Very generally, we do know that there are tectonic earthquakes, natural earthquakes, that occur in Texas so I don’t think that anyone has jumped to the conclusion that these are induced at this point,” Ellsworth said.

However, he did note that after scientific studies of earthquakes in the Barnett Shale, Prof. Cliff Frohlich, the senior research scientist at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas in Austin, found many of the recent earthquakes are associated with injection.

Text Only
Front Page
  • Jordan Paredes Weatherford boy dies following wreck near Brock

    A 16-year-old Weatherford teen injured in a single-vehicle wreck near Brock last week died Tuesday afternoon at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner. 

    Jordan Paredes, reported by relatives to be in a coma following the wreck, was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. in the trauma intensive care unit, the medical examiner reported. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0730 one dar truck.jpg SHIPPING OUT

    The Daughters of the American Revolution is all about supporting the military and Saturday morning, District II of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution gathered for a district workshop meeting and to contribute to the United Service Organizations Inc.’s Treats for Troops, which distributes snacks and refreshments to military members traveling through the DFW Airport.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • city graphs.jpg HO council talks water rate increase

    At a regular Hudson Oaks City Council meeting Thursday, Hudson Oaks Assistant City Administrator Chad Janicek presented the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget. As a part of the proposal, Janicek presented the council with proposed water utility rate increases, some of which, if approved, would take effect at the beginning of the 2015 fiscal year in October. The second half would take effect in the coming years, still to be determined. As a result, the proposed rate adjustment will occur in two phases.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Julie Witt Parolee accused of embezzling $48,000 from Weatherford attorney

    A paroled paralegal, accused of embezzling more than $48,000 from a Weatherford attorney since November and leaving behind forged documents affecting at least two clients’ legal cases, is in jail again, facing her fourth felony theft charge in 15 years. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Splash Kingdom suspect Water park burglar sought

    Weatherford and Hudson Oaks police are requesting the public’s assistance in catching a burglar who broke into Splash Kingdom Water Park in Hudson Oaks earlier this month. 

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0729 one purple heart group.jpg A Purple Heart County

    County Judge Mark Riley and Parker County commissioners proclaimed Parker County to be a “Purple Heart County” Monday, honoring local veterans and their families in a special ceremony held in the second floor courtroom of the historic courthouse. 

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • WISD to propose tax rate decrease

    Weatherford ISD, which is projected to see a rise in property values, is proposing a one-cent tax rate decrease, which would slightly increase taxes for the average homeowner. 

    July 28, 2014

  • Israel Andrade Illegal indicted for burglary, child indecency

    A Parker County grand jury has indicted a man accused of breaking into a Springtown-area home earlier this month and molesting a sleeping 9-year-old girl.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_9754.jpg Home destroyed by fire

    WEATHERFORD – A fire that broke out Monday on the 700 block of Cimmaron Trail in Horseshoe Bend ended in the complete loss of a family’s home.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0727 one before-after.jpg Almost there...

    As a two-room schoolhouse with two school teachers conducting grades 1-9, the Mount Pleasant Colored School has had a humble beginning.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks