Earthquakes in West Texas have dramatically increased, according to new University of Texas study
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Earthquakes in West Texas have dramatically increased, according to new University of Texas study

STACY FERNÁNDEZ |
November 5, 2019

Every year West Texas experiences more and more small earthquakes. The study by the University of Texas at Austin documented more than 7,000 starting in 2009.


West Texas has seen a dramatic increase in earthquakes, jumping from 19 in 2009 to 1,600 in 2017 alone, according to a new study published Monday by the University of Texas at Austin.

The study, which was published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, tracked nearly 20 years of seismic activity. The scientists documented more than 7,000 earthquakes near Pecos starting in 2009, most of them so small that no one felt them. The scientists used an earthquake monitoring system that was “some distance” from Pecos but sensitive enough to pick up vibrations 150 miles away.

“West Texas now has the highest seismicity rates in the state,” co-author and Souther Methodist University Associate Professor Heather DeShon said in a written statement. “What remained uncertain is when the earthquakes actually started. This study addresses that.”

While earthquake activity coincided with a large increase in oil and gas production in West Texas, the study does not try to link the two.

Credit by - The Texas tribune

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