Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Edmond Earthquake

My business partner Ray called me around 9:30 am today. "Did you feel the earthquake?" he asked.
"Nope, didn't feel a thing," I told him.
"Our office shook like there was no tomorrow. You sure you didn't feel anything?"
"No, but I believe you," I said.
"I was in Los Angeles during a 4.5 earthquake and it wasn't nearly as intense as the one I just experienced."
"I said I believe you," I responded.
I'm a writer, but I'm also a geologist. Oil companies, for years now, have been "dewatering" a deep-seated formation called the Hunton just east of here. Once sporadic earthquakes have grown from five a year to five a month.
"Dewatering simply means the oil companies are extracting large quantities of oil and water, mostly water, from a zone about a mile deep in the earth in central Oklahoma. They sell the oil and inject the water back into another zone called the Arbuckle. this ancient formation is rife with faults and structural movement. The injected water acts as a lubricant, causing movement, and resultant earthquakes. There hasn't been much, if any, property damage - at least as yet, so no one is casting any blame. The cause of the earthquakes is subsidence due to removal, and or injection of saltwater.


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