Earthquakes become increasingly common in Oklahoma

Earthquakes increase in frequency and intensity throughout the state of Oklahoma.
Online photo

Earthquakes increase in frequency and intensity throughout the state of Oklahoma. Online photo

By Lauren Ashpole

The increase of earthquakes in Oklahoma has started a viral movement among Edmond residents.

In the past three years, Oklahoma has experienced more earthquakes than anywhere else in the world. Oklahoma had 61 earthquakes in the past seven days, according to KOCO.

According to News OK, the main reason for all the recent earthquakes is increased fracking, which means they have drilled deeper into the Earth’s core more frequently than ever before. Most of the businesses in downtown Oklahoma City rely on oil to keep their company’s profit up.

However, according to Associate Professor of Chemistry and Physics Amanda Nichols, the fracking may not be to blame.

“It’s not really the fracking, but the disposal of the wastewater,” Nichols said. “The water is injected into the earth and that water can get into the fault lines, prying the earth apart causing slipping.”

Dan McNamara, a research geophysicist at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Geologic Hazards Science Center in Golden, Colorado has been studying the state’s ongoing earthquakes.

“December’s earthquakes reactivated a new fault that runs from the Midwest Boulevard and Covell area toward downtown Oklahoma City,” McNamara said in an interview with News 9. “These are all ancient faults that have not been active since the days of the dinosaurs. They’re being reactivated at depth. They don’t even come to the surface. They’re all five to 10 kilometers down.”

If fault lines continue to be tampered with, the Oklahoma Christian campus will be affected. More than 2,000 students could be in danger , as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Before 2013 we weren’t feeling any earthquakes at all,” sophomore Tiffany Butler said. “Then all of a sudden everything started to shake and it hasn’t stopped since. I am not sure some of the buildings in town were built to withstand this kind of shaking.”

Some Oklahoma Christian students said they are worried about the effects of the earthquakes on the apartment buildings on campus.

“I am from California,” senior Jesus Arredondo said. “I’ve felt stronger earthquakes in California, but not that many in such a short period of time. The housing on campus might not be built to withstand earthquakes, but I’m not worried since we don’t get many big ones here.”

According to Butler, Oklahoma Christian should have a course of action for students if a large earthquake were to hit.

“I think there should be earthquake drills,” Butler said. “Earthquakes are just as damaging and scary as tornadoes. I would like to know what to do if something were to happen.”

 

Lauren is a junior at Oklahoma Christian University.

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