Why 2017’s West Texas Tremor Tally Is Higher Than The Past Ten Years Combined

One geologic researcher says a new seismic monitoring system now in use across the state can pick up earthquakes that were undetected in the past.

By Michael MarksNovember 29, 2017 11:11 am| ,

A sharp increase in the number of recorded earthquakes in west Texas has some wondering what’s going on underneath the town of Pecos. In the past year, 30 tremors have been recorded in the region – three times the number of earthquakes that were recorded in west Texas over the past ten years.

But the reason for the uptick in tremors may not be as dramatic as it seems, says Dr. Peter Hennings, research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin.

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why the dramatic increase in the number of earthquakes in west Texas may be attributed to the state’s new TexNet seismic monitoring network, which has increased the ability to detect and characterize earthquakes

– Why scientists are hesitant to link the process of fracking to the number of earthquakes

– How the increase in seismic activity might affect the region’s growing oil and gas industry

 

Written by Rachel Zein.