Good News Everyone
Fracking Earthquakes Part IV: Shakes Down
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  • Duperray

    Many artificial but unintentionnal earth quakes are rather a fun than a pain:( We have to be honest, we are not “anti-everything-greens”). They have also a good advantage by releasing the natural rocks strains earlier. Such a technique has been considered decades ago, many small artificial quakes in order to reduce the intensity of the expected “Big One” in San Andrea’s Fault area.

    So the only change (Physics does not change) in decades has been the political mediatisation and exploitation by unsincere persons, inclusive of politicians.

  • Andrew Allison

    Color me confused. The Richter scale assigns a magnitude number to quantify the energy released by an earthquake. If a well-induced earthquake releases energy with a magnitude of 4.8, it’s 4.8. Is what is being suggested that a given amount of slip produces less energy when lubricated? I’m also confused by “. . . the weight of this water puts stress on faults”. Don’t rocks sink in, i.e. are heavier than, water? Education welcomed.

    • JollyGreenChemist

      I think that by being lubricated the the quake is smoother and less jerky. The same amount of energy is released, but the acceleration and thereby the force is less, causing less damage.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    So fracking is really a way of reducing the damage natural earthquakes cause by both triggering them earlier and more frequently, as well as lubricating the slip to dampen the shock. Fracking is the technology that just keeps giving and giving.

    • JollyGreenChemist

      Yes. The stress is already there in the crust. Relieving it in a series of small quakes is far safer than relieving it in a few big ones. For example, people in LA are worrying about “the Big One” because stress is continually building up in the San Andreas fault and there have not been enough small quakes in the last decade or so to relieve it,

  • EH

    I’m not sure the author fully understands fracking. I’ve never heard that the weight of the water on the faults causes earthquakes (water has about the same density as dirt anyway, and lower density than rock). Rather the high pressure it is injected at and the lubrication it provides at the fault interface cause slipping. Since the water partly fills the vacuum created by the removal of oil/gas, not using wastewater injection means you’d have pockets of empty space which could collapse and possibly cause more problems. Furthermore, you can’t “get rid of earthquakes” unless you stop the movement of tectonic plates – the energy caused by this movement will be released sooner or later, either with frequent smaller earthquakes caused by fracking or larger infrequent naturally occurring earthquakes.

    For a good overview, I’d highly recommend: http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/article/67/8/10.1063/PT.3.2480

  • Corlyss

    As Radar O’Reilly used to say, “Wait for it . . . ” Before you can say “evil conspiracy” the envirothugs will find some hack to write a report saying fracking increases the risks of The Big One exponentially.

  • Boritz

    Good News Everyone non-greens.

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