New Tech Designed to Get to the Bottom of Texas Earthquakes

TexNet Seismic Monitoring

New technology provided by the University of Texas at Austin will monitor seismic activity in real time and allow scientists to learn more about what causes Texas earthquakes. 

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UT's Bureau of Economic Geology recently announced it had finished installing TexNet, which is touted as the 'most advanced state-run-seismic system in the country'. 

TexNet is part of UT's broader research to better understand natural and induced earthquakes in Texas. The project includes 22 permanent monitoring stations and 40 portable seismic stations located across the state that gives detailed information about the location, depth, size and frequency of earthquakes.

Gov. Abbott and the Legislature have put Texas in the forefront of data collection and research into the causes of seismicity in the state. Small earthquake events have become more common in Texas recently, and we are now positioned to learn more about them and, hopefully, to understand how to mitigate their impacts in the future.”
— Scott W. Tinker-Director of UT Bureau of Economic Geology

The project began in 2015, when the State Legislature and Governor Greg Abbott authorized $4.47 million for the creation of a state-run monitoring system following an increase in earthquakes across the Lone Star State.

To see TexNet in action, researchers created a dynamic mapping web page that provides information on the location of monitoring stations and recorded earthquakes across the state. 

The topic of fracking and earthquakes in Texas has continued to be controversial, with interests on both sides citing scientific evidence that supports their claims. The Texas Railroad Commission continues to be skeptical of the link between fracking and earthquakes and has publicly questioned the mounting scientific evidence of the link.

Last year environmentalists halted an auction for oil and gas leases on federal land in Texas over fears that water supplies would be harmed.