Friday, February 17, 2017

The Annual Oklahoma Earthquake Predictions

These are not really predictions, in the sense that they have to be useful.  This is just an extrapolation based on the main hypothesis, and incorporating all known physics.  The hypothesis can be invalidated by a variation of the prediction, keeping in mind the uncertainties are huge.

Hypothesis:  OK earthquakes are caused by the injection of freshwater frack waste into the highly stressed Precambrian basement, which is riddled by major megathrust structures which can be mapped in Canada.

Extrapolation:  This is the big trumpy year.  We expect a huge increase in demand for frack waste disposal.  On the other side, the supply (available injection) is being restricted due to an assumption that mere pressure is causing earthquakes.  As with the 'war on drugs', the price of injection will go up.  We estimate that we can expect a doubling or tripling, from 30 cents a barrel to over $1.  As such, the lower grade 'produced water' will be priced out of the market, and they will shooting pure freshwater frack waste.

 We are noticing now that the seismic rate is going up to one m4 per week.  A rough idea of the total seismic energy rate is to just keep track of the larger earthquakes.  Forget about the m3's.  The 'powers' like to plot 3's as 'proof' the number of earthquakes are going down.  Every year, the seismic rate has been very low during the winter because they can't deal with fresh water when it freezes.  Last year, things didn't start moving until May, because of the very cold April.

We now expect March-April to have a rate of a 4 every other day, giving a rate of one 5 per month.  Please note that we do not use the busgus magnitudes because of severe directivity.  We generally go with the largest rating by seismometers around the world.

The summer will see one 5 a week.  This should give us a few 6's over the season.  We maintain good odds of a 7 this year with 8's next year.  We are very uncertain about the 'multiple' factor for these larger earthquakes.  Right now we seem to have a factor of 5, that is 5 m4's for an m5, etc.  Who knows about the m6's?

All in all, an exciting earthquake season.  Politically, we expect no voice from the busgus (defunded), or the EPA (purged).

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