- Posted August 19, 2014 by
4.2 Earthquake - Oklahoma
The 4.2 quake comes on the heel of 2 other smaller quakes in northern Oklahoma on Monday (2.5 and 2.6 respectively). Although quakes of this magnitude are rare for this portion of the country, Oklahoma has seen a significant increase in quake activity over the past couple of years. Almost 3,000 total in 2013 per the US Geological Survey (USGS). The theories for the sudden and alarming rise in quakes in Oklahoma range from the activity known as 'Fracking' or hydraulic fracturing, which is the process of extracting natural gas from shale rock layers deep within the earth. To what some call the 'awakening' of the New Madrid Seismic Zone, also called the New Madrid Fault Line.
The New Madrid Seismic Zone is a is a major seismic zone and a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes (earthquakes within a tectonic plate) in the southern and midwestern United States, stretching to the southwest from New Madrid, Missouri.
While none of these theories have been proven as the cause of the increase in quake activity, the fact remains that the residents of Oklahoma where these quakes have occurred have become increasingly concerned as the number of larger quakes (3.0 and higher) continue to occur with seemingly increased frequency.
*Photo Courtesy of USGS.GOV