Researchers at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently published an abstract that links an increase in earthquakes across the middle of the US to oil and natural gas production activities. The researchers found that the number of earthquakes with a magnitude greater than three increased six-fold from 2001 to 2011. They determined that this increase is almost certainly due to human activities, but that more research is needed to figure out whether they are related changes in oil and gas production methods or the rate of oil and gas production.
The lead author of the study, William Ellsworth, will be discussing human-triggered earthquakes at a Science Magazine Live Chat tomorrow, Thursday April 19th, at 3pm EST. The chat can be viewed below.
For more info on earthquakes caused by oil and gas production activities, see my previous blogs here and here, and the short video below.