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New Study Links Small Quakes To Fracking In Ohio

A Pennsylvania gas well.  fracking drilling
Gerry Dincher
/
Flickr/Creative Commons

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A new study suggests that fracking triggered hundreds of too-small-to-be-felt earthquakes in eastern Ohio late last year, months before the state first linked seismic activity to the oil-and-gas extraction technique.

The study, in the journal Seismological Research Letters, identified nearly 400 tremors on a previously unmapped fault in Harrison County between Oct. 1 and Dec. 13, 2013. That included 10 quakes of magnitudes of 1.7 to 2.2 — significantly more intense than expected, though still minor.

The quakes fell along a fault lying directly under three hydraulic fracturing operations and tended to coincide with nearby activity.

A spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources says the state installed sensitive seismic monitors in the area over the past year and is keeping close watch.

Stories from the Associated Press.