Sunday, August 23, 2015

Oklahoma earthquakes rehash

Just a little summary for those of you who don't want to trudge through all my stuff.  It's like digging up the potatoes, which I did this weekend, you go through a lot of dirt before something good pops up.

So, the mid-west states had been injecting excess water from oil production for a zillion years, and never got an earthquake.  If they found a Precambrian megathrust, they could inject till the cows came home.  It was a reverse gusher.  Nobody bothered to map these things and the busgus stayed in Callie.

Then fracking came along and they used fresh water.  This was mixed in with the usual saltwater in deep wells, and we got earthquakes.  Ohio and then Arkansas.  They quickly shut down the operations.

Every time Texas decided to make a bit more money they had huge earthquakes.  They were slipping in the fracking waste on the sly.  As soon as people screamed enough, all the earthquakes stopped.  Texans could turn earthquakes off and on like a beer tap, but never told anyone their secret.

That left Oklahoma who would do anything for a buck.  The fresh water acts as an acid on the deep quartz holding the faults together.  It all starts to unzip, just like New Madrid started thousands of years ago.  But OK gets to do it a thousand times faster.  The earthquakes keep getting bigger and bigger.  A New Madrid M7 would level the place.  Would anyone notice?

You can read this and realize there is a simple cure.  Will never happen.  These things must go to a big disaster.  It's human nature.

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