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Author Topic: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?  (Read 1300 times)

Offline kdd2018

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When water is being used for hydraulic fracking can it cause an earthquake?  If the answer is no, please explain why not.  And I have heard that man-made earthquakes are created more often by waste water injection.  What is the difference between the water used in fracking and waste water?


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #1 on: 27/05/2016 12:32:12 »
Quote from: kdd2018
When water is being used for hydraulic fracking can it cause an earthquake?
Yes - it is thought that the water can lubricate fault lines, allowing the pent-up energy to be dissipated in an earthquake.

Is this bad? The earthquake would have happened sooner or later. If it is sooner, earthquaes at 2 or less on the Richter scale aren't felt by humans. And if it were later, it would be after more geological stress had built up, and it would be more destructive. So are a number of very small earthquakes better than one large and destructive earthquake? Our legal system is not set up to decide such questions (and the Italian legal system is not set up to deal with entirely natural earthquakes).

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I have heard that man-made earthquakes are created more often by waste water injection
When oil and gas wells start to dry up, water is often injected under pressure into obsolete wells. Since oil and gas float on top of the water, this increases flow into the wells that are still operational.

This can cause slips on fault lines, just like fracking.

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What is the difference between the water used in fracking and waste water?
Water used in fracking contains a "proppant", used to "prop open" the cracks in the sedimentary layers. The proppant consists mostly of sand (which is what rocks are mostly made of), although there have been concerns about other additives.

I don't think the differences in the water are significant - it is mostly the injection of fluid under pressure that leads to the earthquakes.
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_hydraulic_fracturing#Seismicity
 
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Offline puppypower

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #2 on: 03/06/2016 11:56:40 »
If fracking could induce earthquakes, I wonder if fracking could be used to induce earthquakes, before we have a major earthquake? For example, instead of waiting for a fault line to slip and create a spontaneous magnitude 7.5 quake that wipes out a city, we use fracking to be pro-active; use it to induce a quake when the potential on the fault line is 4.0. This could save nearby cities from a ticking time bomb catastrophe.

This is sort of like using a poison, as a medicine; BoTox.
 

Offline JimBob

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #3 on: 27/06/2016 05:51:42 »
in a word "yes" BUT 99.99999% of earthquakes have no connection.

Frack fluid is slick water (surfactant added) is used in fracking. It is used to pump down propants into a specific zone as determined by geologists (Yea!)

fracking and earthquakes in Yahoo Search or any other search will yield a wealth of info.
« Last Edit: 27/06/2016 22:38:54 by JimBob »
 

Offline Bass

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/2016 22:29:13 »
If fracking could induce earthquakes, I wonder if fracking could be used to induce earthquakes, before we have a major earthquake? For example, instead of waiting for a fault line to slip and create a spontaneous magnitude 7.5 quake that wipes out a city, we use fracking to be pro-active; use it to induce a quake when the potential on the fault line is 4.0. This could save nearby cities from a ticking time bomb catastrophe.
That has been proposed and debated for active faults in the past. Problem is, what if you intend to induce a 4.0M earthquake, but instead end up with an 8.0+M? Who's liable?
 

Offline Tim the Plumber

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #5 on: 02/07/2016 23:26:09 »
Whilst fracking has produced eath quakes these are of the same sort of intensity as a lorry passing by on the road. Unless they are in very remote areas where the opperators might get a bit more wild due to not caring if Northern British Columbia has a bit of a bigger shake or more likely being drunk as it's extremely boring out there.
 

Offline Jannifer Lisa

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #6 on: 17/10/2016 11:44:11 »
Do not try to leave until the shaking is over, then walk out gradually, watching for fallen particles or whatever could fall on you in aftershocks. whatcausesearthquakes.com/where-do-most-earthquakes-occur.htm
 

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Re: is there a connection between fracking and earthquakes?
« Reply #6 on: 17/10/2016 11:44:11 »

 

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