EARTHQUAKES IN OKLAHOMA

Seismicity – An Overview

Seismicity refers to the relative frequency and distribution of earthquakes.  Oklahoma’s recorded seismic history dates back to 1882.  The number of earthquakes felt in Oklahoma over the last five years is unusual as compared to historical seismicity trends in the state.

Naturally occurring earthquakes happen as a result of natural movements along faults in the earth’s crust.  Triggered earthquakes can happen where there is a naturally occurring fault that has the potential to slip and is triggered by some other event, such as a man-made activity or even another earthquake.

There is broad agreement among seismologists that the disposal of water into or in communication with basement rock presents a potential risk for triggering seismicity.

A typical disposal well injecting above the basement.

A typical disposal well injecting above the basement.

A disposal well injecting fluid into the basement.

A disposal well injecting fluid into the basement.