Texas Quakes Strike Again

4.0 Quake Hits North Texas
4.0 Quake Hits North Texas

The rumbling continues in North Texas as more earthquakes hit the area since last Thursday.

A 4.0 earthquake struck about 30 miles southwest of Dallas and is the most powerful quake since the current rash of seismic activity began in 2013. Two smaller quakes followed over the weekend, in the Mansfield (2.4) and Irving (2.7) areas.

Related: Four Texas Quakes within 24 Hours

The Texas Railroad Commission sent representatives to the area to inspect natural gas wells and disposal sites for damage and have asked for cooperation from operators in order to determine the effect of injection operations on pressures within subsurface rock formations. Bosque Disposal Systems, LLC, EOG Resources, Inc., and MetroSaltwater Disposal, Inc., Pinnergy, Ltd. have all  voluntarily agreed to temporarily shut down operations in order to conduct testing.

We take the issue of seismicity very seriously and want to move quickly to better understand if there are actions the Commission should require of operators to protect the public, up to and including shutting down well operations,” said Dr. Craig Pearson, Commission staff seismologist. “More data is always useful in making these kinds of critical decisions that impact the public and the industry.

esearchers from SMU are not surprised by this recent activity and are urging people to think differently about Texas quakes, which are no longer rare.  They recently spoke to a Texas legislative committee recently to garner support for better preparedness.

We emphasized to the House Committee on Energy Resources the need for a permanent regional network, supplemented by portable instruments, that we can deploy in a time-sensitive manner when earthquakes occur.
— SMU Associate Professor of Geophysics, Matthew Hornbach

Read more at rrc.tx.org