Balm for the Quake-ers in Irving, Denton and Elsewhere

27 January 2015

News this morning reports a 4.5 magnitude earthquake in Medford, Oklahoma. That particular earth mover originated nearly four miles below the surface of Oklahoma. Four miles translates to 21,120 feet. Recent earthquakes rattling Irving and Denton residents occur between 5 and 9 kilometers below the surface. In statute miles, earthquake activity takes place between 3.1 and 5.6 miles below the surface of your cities, well over a mile below drilling activities in the Barnett Shale which runs from 8,000 to 10,000 feet in depth.

University of Texas Geologic Map (click on image for full size view)
University of Texas Geologic Map (click on image for full size view)

My wife and I were present in Alpine, Texas about 20 years ago where we experienced a 4.1 earthquake. No one suggested ‘fracking’ as the cause. You see, fracking hadn’t been invented yet. Geology of the Big Bend area of Texas is out of this world. Late night visits to a roadside park near Marfa, Texas are rewarded by a mysterious light show in which strange lights appear from nowhere, move about or remain stationary, then disappear. Spanish explorer Coronado was the first European to record them. Student pilots of WW2 saw them. To this day, no one has a satisfactory scientific answer as to the origin of those lights. The Pine Canyon Caldera reminds us that Texas was once the scene of volcanic activity.

Geological Society of America map of Pine Canyon Caldera
Geological Society of America map of Pine Canyon Caldera

I doubt ‘fracking’ causes the ground under you feet to shake. Surely there is an explanation. Who knows? Perhaps it’s another Texas volcano?

John White

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