The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

November 15, 2013

Enid area's earthquake activity remains a mystery, for now


Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The increase in earthquake activity around the Enid area has grabbed just about everyone’s attention.

Residents in the area — particularly around Kremlin, where the majority of the shaking has been centered — are understandably jittery, especially when the ground underneath them starts to move and they hear the telltale boom or rumble again.

The most recent quake was a 3.4 magnitude one that happened Monday night. It was just the latest in a series of quakes that have rattled homes and nerves in the past month or two.

Also interested in the earthquakes are Oklahoma Geological Survey seismologists, who would like to find out why they are occurring.

So far, that’s the big question everyone has. And, as of now, no one seems to know for sure why.

Speculation is rampant, with many pointing a finger at the oil and gas industry and the process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, or the injection wells used to pumped used fracking liquids deep into the earth. However, the experts, including research seismologist Austin Holland, just don’t have the answer.

There just isn’t enough evidence yet to point to any cause.

That lack of evidence isn’t because no one is trying to figure this out. Oklahoma Geological Survey added another seismometer near Carrier and has applied for grants to continue the study and search for a cause.

So far, the quakes we’ve been feeling haven’t been strong enough to cause any major damage, but there are some things you can do if you are so inclined, including: consider buying earthquake insurance; inventory your home and business possessions; and visit Ready.gov for preparation tips.

Until we know the cause for sure, we all will just have to roll with the punches, or the earth, as it were.