Wastewater injection rates linked to earthquakes

In the last few years, the number of earthquakes in the central and eastern US has skyrocketed–a trend scientists attribute to increased wastewater disposal from oil and gas production. As wastewater is pumped underground, it can change the pressure along faults, increasing the odds of an earthquake. Now, a comprehensive new study suggests that it’s the rate of wastewater injection that matters most. Learn more in my story for Science Magazine.

Disposal wells (Class II) are used to safely store salty or contaminated water produced during enhanced oil recovery or hydraulic fracturing. (Credit: EPA)
Disposal wells (Class II) are used to store salty or contaminated water generated by conventional oil and gas production or hydraulic fracturing. (Credit: EPA)
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