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Energy and Environment

Kansas Counties Feel Decrease In Earthquakes

seismograph_marcin_wichary.jpg
Marcin Wichary, flickr Creative Commons
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According to a report released on Tuesday, Sumner and Harper Counties have seen a decrease in more-pronounced earthquakes in recent months.

Geologists in both Kansas and Oklahoma have linked an increase in seismic activity to the injection of water deep in the earth. It’s a way to dispose of wastewater from oil and natural gas exploration.

To try and slow the tremors, the Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities in the state, put a limit on wastewater disposal in Harper and Sumner Counties. That was back in March, and since then, the number of earthquakes strong enough to be felt has decreased.

The data also shows that earthquakes below magnitude 2.5, which usually can’t be felt, have increased.

The KCC suggests that seismic activity is being released in smaller events and should mitigate the risk of more pronounced and destructive earthquakes in the future.

The data is still being reviewed, and the commission expects a more formal review later this month.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur.

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