Fracking potentially a cause of earthquakes? - ehMac.ca
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Old Mar 28th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #1
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Exclamation Fracking potentially a cause of earthquakes?

Oklahoma’s strongest earthquake has been linked to the oil industry
A new study in the journal Geology is linking Oklahoma’s November 6th, 2011, earthquake to the injection of wastewater deep underground — water that’s used both in fracking and the extraction of petroleum from conventional oil wells. The 5.6 magnitude quake, the most significant to ever hit the region, injured two people, cracked highways, and damaged over a dozen homes.
After the 5.7 quake hit Prague, Oklahoma, it was followed by another 5.0 quake and thousands of aftershocks. Interestingly, the wastewater had been pumped into abandoned oil wells for 17 years without incident. The geologists speculate that, as the wastewater replenished compartments once filled with oil, the pressure to keep the water going down had to be increased. And as this pressure built up, the fault jumped; changes in water volumes deep underground reduced the stress on the rock, allowing the fault to slip. And in fact, this “Wilzetta Fault” was only 200 meters away from the active injection wells.
(io9)
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:02 PM   #2
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Maybe they should fill it with silicon instead.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:09 PM   #3
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Lovely; we could give the whole planet a boob-job.

Having consumed all the easily accessible fossil fuels, our situation is that of an alcoholic who's drunk all the liquor in the house, and has cleaned out the liquor store. Our options are to sober up or start on the lysol and cough syrup.

It's true that we're in for a nasty hangover. But once we recover, we may still have a future.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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Some people are drunk on their irrational fears of fossil fuels. From the same link:

Quote:
The Oklahoma Geological Survey put out a statement (pdf) on March 22, 2013 refuting the claim.

“The interpretation that best fits current data is that the Prague Earthquake Sequence was the result of nature causes,” wrote the OGS. “The [quake], as well as other current and historically active seismic areas in Oklahoma, would benefit from further study, including improved earthquake monitoring and acquisition of formation pressure data.”
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:19 PM   #5
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Been following fracking a bit closer than most. I would suggest the real danger from fracking is groundwater contamination.

These are fairly minor as quakes go but could easily open a path between the formations being fracked and shallower groundwater reservoirs.

Unfortunately once a groundwater resource is contaminated there is no going back.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bryanc View Post
Lovely; we could give the whole planet a boob-job.

Having consumed all the easily accessible fossil fuels, our situation is that of an alcoholic who's drunk all the liquor in the house, and has cleaned out the liquor store. Our options are to sober up or start on the lysol and cough syrup.

It's true that we're in for a nasty hangover. But once we recover, we may still have a future.
Okay concrete. But that would cause more issues as it is inflexible.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #7
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Frack water does not have to be disposed of in the ground. Flowback can be purified and re-used as frack water:

Welcome to Fountain Quail Water Management, LLC

I would suggest this is the best way to deal with people's fears.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 02:39 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macfury View Post
Frack water does not have to be disposed of in the ground. Flowback can be purified and re-used as frack water:

Welcome to Fountain Quail Water Management, LLC

I would suggest this is the best way to deal with people's fears.
That's perhaps a partial solution (no pun intended). These questions still need to be answered:

How much of the frack water do they recover?
How much is left?
How much of whatever chemicals are left in the ground does it take to contaminate the aquifer?
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 02:41 PM   #9
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It doesn't necessarily have to be the frakking fluid that contaminates the ground water; breaking up the existing geological barriers between oil/gas bearing rock and the aquifer will allow hydrocarbons to contaminate the ground water.
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Old Mar 29th, 2013, 03:38 PM   #10
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Once this hydrocarbon pollution is removed from the Earth, it will be burned up and never return there again.
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