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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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Maybe they should fill it with silicon instead.
 

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Lovely; we could give the whole planet a boob-job. :rolleyes:

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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Some people are drunk on their irrational fears of fossil fuels. From the same link:

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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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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Lovely; we could give the whole planet a boob-job. :rolleyes:

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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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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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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Once this hydrocarbon pollution is removed from the Earth, it will be burned up and never return there again.
 

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Once this hydrocarbon pollution is removed from the Earth, it will be burned up and never return there again.
:confused:

Are you really this confused about the basic science of the carbon cycle and how hydrocarbons come to be found in the ground?

Before we started extracting hydrocarbons, they'd been accumulating at a relatively constant rate as a result of geological processes that burry organic materials formed from CO2 that has been reduced by photosynthesis. Over many millions of years, a substantial amount of the global carbon pool has become sequestered, resulting in a significant decrease in atmospheric CO2, and a net cooling of the planet. Over the past century, humans have extracted and oxidized a lot of that material, dramatically shifting the equilibrium, and unsurprisingly, disrupting the climate in the process.
 

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:confused:

Are you really this confused about the basic science of the carbon cycle and how hydrocarbons come to be found in the ground?

Before we started extracting hydrocarbons, they'd been accumulating at a relatively constant rate as a result of geological processes that burry organic materials formed from CO2 that has been reduced by photosynthesis. Over many millions of years, a substantial amount of the global carbon pool has become sequestered, resulting in a significant decrease in atmospheric CO2, and a net cooling of the planet. Over the past century, humans have extracted and oxidized a lot of that material, dramatically shifting the equilibrium, and unsurprisingly, disrupting the climate in the process.
But of course i understand it. However, I have seen no useful proof that the climate has been "disrupted."
 

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I have seen no useful proof that the climate has been "disrupted."
Well there's your problem right there. The evidence that the climate has been disrupted comes from empirical scientific research; and you clearly have no clue as to how that process works. Science does not prove things; it falsifies. The ACC theory, which says that our release of GHGs over the past century has disrupted the climate, fits the data very well and therefore has not been falsified. Neither has it been proven; like evolutionary theory, gravitational theory, quantum mechanical theory, and other established scientific theories, it remains the accepted paradigm because it is the best explanation for the data, not because there is proof.

If you would like to try to falsify ACC, knock yourself out; but it is people with Ph.D.s in climatology you will have to convince, not a bunch of neo-conservative bloggers and oil industry shills on the internet, so you'll need to start by earning a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, and then establishing a track record of contributing novel insights into the mechanisms of climate change, before anyone who's opinion counts for anything will have much interest in what you may have to say. I strongly suspect that by the time you accomplished these feats, you'd understand the field so much better, your position on the validity of ACC would be reversed.
 

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Well there's your problem right there. The evidence that the climate has been disrupted comes from empirical scientific research; and you clearly have no clue as to how that process works. Science does not prove things; it falsifies. The ACC theory, which says that our release of GHGs over the past century has disrupted the climate, fits the data very well and therefore has not been falsified. Neither has it been proven; like evolutionary theory, gravitational theory, quantum mechanical theory, and other established scientific theories, it remains the accepted paradigm because it is the best explanation for the data, not because there is proof.

If you would like to try to falsify ACC, knock yourself out; but it is people with Ph.D.s in climatology you will have to convince, not a bunch of neo-conservative bloggers and oil industry shills on the internet, so you'll need to start by earning a Ph.D. in a relevant discipline, and then establishing a track record of contributing novel insights into the mechanisms of climate change, before anyone who's opinion counts for anything will have much interest in what you may have to say. I strongly suspect that by the time you accomplished these feats, you'd understand the field so much better, your position on the validity of ACC would be reversed.
Yes, ACC as a useful theory for describing significant changes to climate has been falsified. That will take a while to sink in for those who are heavily invested in Gaia-worship, green energy, research grants for global warming studies, etc. Major retreats by the IPCC, the Met Office and other bodies on ACC are just the beginning.
 

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Yes, ACC as a useful theory for describing significant changes to climate has been falsified.
The only people qualified to make such a statement are consistently saying the exact opposite.

If the global community of climate researchers change their position, I will happily accept their expert opinion. Until that time, the arrogant claims of uninformed political activists is simply the denial of scientific progress. This is anti-intellectualism at best, and ethically reprehensible sabotage of social progress at worst.
 

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The only people qualified to make such a statement are consistently saying the exact opposite.

If the global community of climate researchers change their position, I will happily accept their expert opinion. Until that time, the arrogant claims of uninformed political activists is simply the denial of scientific progress. This is anti-intellectualism at best, and ethically reprehensible sabotage of social progress at worst.
They don't change their opinion all at once. However, the cracks are forming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Some people are drunk on their irrational fears of fossil fuels. From the same link:
Yeah... or not.

Fracking linked to 4.4 magnitude quake in Fox Creek

Alberta's provincial energy regulator says a significant earthquake in northern Alberta was likely caused by hydraulic fracturing.

If fracturing is confirmed as the cause, scientists say, it will have been the largest earthquake ever to result from an industrial operation.

Residents in the town of Fox Creek noticed the earthquake a week ago on Jan. 22. It was of 4.4 magnitude, severe enough to cause minor damage.

"It felt like a big gust of wind hit the house. The door flew open and the couch moved," said Kelli Mcphee
Fox Creek, a town of about 2,000 people, is largely sustained by oil and gas development.

That work often uses hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” a process that injects a high-pressure mixture of water and chemicals into the earth to break through rock.

In an emailed statement to CBC, the Alberta Energy Regulator said its monitoring system picked up strong evidence that fracking caused this recent earthquake and likely triggered others too, although it is "impossible to definitively state that it was not a naturally occurring event."

The link between fracking and earthquakes is a phenomenon that several scientists are now studying.

“We have been seeing earthquakes for about the last year in that area, starting with events just above magnitude 3,” said David Eaton, a professor of geophysics at the University of Calgary.

“In most cases, those earthquakes have occurred in association with industry activity such as hydraulic fracturing.”
(CBC)
 
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