Tuesday, July 16, 2013

New Madrid Fault Zone Alert - Information Only 15.07.2013 - Update

Recent Earthquakes - 15.7.13 - Array Network Facility - http://anf.ucsd.edu/recenteqs/
UPDATED: 15.7.2013
#NewMadrid Fault Zone Alert:

Recent Activity in the Gulf of Mexico and #BayouCorne Sinkhole have raised our Alert Levels.
http://lasinkhole.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/quakesjuly8.jpg
The above screen grab from Array Network Facility and updates the current #EQ in the US>>

Note: the activity of the #NewMadrid Seismic Zone of recent days has many concerned.

Note: As covered by RadChick on FB, the USGS has announced a Survey of the New Madrid Seismic Zone for magnetic field research.

Also on USAEBN - BTR:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/usaebn/2013/07/17/situational-preparedness

Low-Flying Airplane Maps New Madrid Zone


Details

Starting around July 10, 2013, an airplane operating under contract to the USGS will be making low-level flights over a 1400-square-mile area in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. 



Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA
Date Taken: 07/01/2011
Photographer: Michael Hobbs , EDCON-PRJ, Inc.

http://gallery.usgs.gov/images/07_08_2013/uAQc7GFsr4_07_08_2013/medium/DSCN0241_-1-.JPG
This airplane is a Cessna-180, specially modified for low-altitude geophysical surveys.  The aircraft is owned and operated by Cloudstreet Flying Services, Fort Collins, Colorado, working jointly with EDCON-PRJ of Lakewood, Colo. The magnetic sensor (magnetometer) is located at the tip of the "stinger" attached to the rear of the airplane. The survey is designed to measure the magnetic field of the earth, which is related to rock formations that lie below the land surface. These flights are part of an ongoing USGS earthquake research program to identify hidden geologic features, such as changes in rock types, thus providing a better understanding of the geology and hydrology of the area.


‪#‎NewMadrid‬ events could mean multiple precursors to a larger event...
Eyes Open. Be Prepared. Too many recent concurring events ‪#‎BayouCorne‬ ‪#‎Sinkhole‬ and Flyovers of New Madrid Seismic Zone...
Be Alert. Review your plans.
As always with seismic activity, this could be nothing. Practicing isn't a bad idea either.
More Alerts and Preparedness info:
www.usaebn.org







***ALL EYES ON THE GULF!***

Earlier we posted about the USGS conducting flights over the New Madrid today. It appears according to several EQ watchers that there was a 5.2 EQ yesterday in the Gulf of Mexico. Also, in the past few hours, news of a NEW gas well leak near this EQ site is being reported (FAA is declaring this a no-fly zone). That's a triple whammy for those of us who have been watching the possible St. Lawrence Seaway/New Madrid/LA Sinkhole/Gulf of Mexico connection with great interest. I'll attach some links to check out. If you see anywhere (forums/webpages, etc) that these issues are being discussed, please post a link here as well!

USGS CONDUCTS NEW MADRID FLIGHTS: http://www.wbir.com/news/article/279776/2/Geologists-studying-New-Madrid-Seismic-Zone-which-includes-Tennessee
GOM EQ SCREENSHOT: http://lasinkhole.wordpress.com/2013/07/08/breaking-5-2-quake-in-the-gulf/
NEW WELL LEAK: http://www.fox8live.com/story/22797333/natural-gas-well-leaking-in-gulf
NO FLY ZONE DECLARED: http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_3_2342.html

AND for those of you who are wondering why we care, IT'S COMPLICATED! but these two people and their work will help you understand:

~Jack Reed was a retired geologist who studied oil formations in the Gulf of Mexico. Oversimplified, his theory says a crack in the North American tectonic plate runs from Louisiana through New Madrid to the St. Lawrence Seaway. Seismic activity in the western Gulf of Mexico would directly affect the New Madrid area: http://www.realistnews.net/Thread-jack-reeds-earthquake-theory-sink-hole-new-madrid-st-lawrence-seaway

~Matt Simmons was a BP whistleblower who indicated in many interviews that the pressures in the BP well could never be contained, and that gas could migrate up into other faults setting off chain-reactions. My favorite interview of his (although there are many on you tube) is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iGbtFU9VWw

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST, IF THE NEW MADRID GOES OFF, BYE-BYE NUKE PLANTS: http://www.nrdc.org/nuclear/fallout/
USGS - science for a changing world

Man-Made Earthquakes


Seismicity of the coterminous United States and surrounding regions, 2009–2012. Black dots denote earthquakes with a magnitude ≥ 3.0 are shown; larger dots denote events with a magnitude ≥ 4.0. Background colors indicate earthquake hazard levels from the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Map (NSHM). Learn more about the NSHM at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/?source=sitenav.
Seismicity of the coterminous United States and surrounding regions, 2009–2012. Black dots denote earthquakes with a magnitude ≥ 3.0 are shown; larger dots denote events with a magnitude ≥ 4.0. Background colors indicate earthquake hazard levels from the U.S. National Seismic Hazard Map (NSHM). Learn more about the NSHM at http://earthquake.usgs.gov/hazards/?source=sitenav.

The number of earthquakes has increased dramatically over the past few years within the central and eastern United States. More than 300 earthquakes above a magnitude 3.0 occurred in the three years from 2010-2012, compared with an average rate of 21 events per year observed from 1967-2000.
This increase in earthquakes prompts two important questions: Are they natural, or man-made? And what should be done in the future as we address the causes and consequences of these events to reduce associated risks? USGS scientists have been analyzing the changes in the rate of earthquakes as well as the likely causes, and they have some answers.
USGS scientists have found that at some locations the increase in seismicity coincides with the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells. Much of this wastewater is a byproduct of oil and gas production and is routinely disposed of by injection into wells specifically designed and approved for this purpose.

Review Article on Injection-Induced Earthquakes
U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist William Ellsworth reviewed the issue of injection-induced earthquakes in a recent study published in the journal Science. The article focused on the injection of fluids into deep wells as a common practice for disposal of wastewater, and discusses recent events and key scientific challenges for assessing this hazard and moving forward to reduce associated risks.


What is Induced Seismicity?
Although it may seem like science fiction, man-made earthquakes have been a reality for decades. It has long been understood that earthquakes can be induced by impoundment of water in reservoirs, surface and underground mining, withdrawal of fluids and gas from the subsurface, and injection of fluids into underground formations.
Cumulative count of earthquakes with a magnitude ≥ 3.0 in the central and eastern United States, 1967–2012. The dashed line corresponds to the long-term rate of 21.2 earthquakes per year, with an increase in the rate of earthquake events starting around 2009.
Cumulative count of earthquakes with a magnitude ≥ 3.0 in the central and eastern United States, 1967–2012. The dashed line corresponds to the long-term rate of 21.2 earthquakes per year, with an increase in the rate of earthquake events starting around 2009.

What is Wastewater Disposal?
Water that is salty or polluted by chemicals needs to be disposed of in a manner that prevents it from contaminating freshwater sources. Often, it is most economical to geologically sequester such wastewaters by injecting them underground, deep below any aquifers that provide drinking water.
Wastewater can result from a variety of processes related to energy production. For example, water is usually present in rock formations containing oil and gas and therefore will be co-produced during oil and gas production. Wastewater can also occur as flow back from hydraulic fracturing operations that involve injecting water under high pressure into a rock formation to stimulate the movement of oil and gas to a well for production.
When wastewater disposal takes place near faults, and underground conditions are right, earthquakes may be more likely to occur, Ellsworth’s research showed. Specifically, an earthquake can be triggered by the well-understood mechanism of raising the water pressure inside a fault. If the pressure increases enough, the fault may fail, releasing stored tectonic stress in the form of an earthquake. Even faults that have not moved in millions of years can be made to slip and cause an earthquake if conditions underground are right.
While the disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, not every wastewater disposal well produces earthquakes. In fact, very few of the more than 30,000 wells designed for this purpose appear to cause earthquakes.
Hydraulic Fracturing
Many questions have been raised about whether hydraulic fracturing — commonly known as “fracking”— is responsible for the recent increase of earthquakes. USGS’s studies suggest that the actual hydraulic fracturing process is only very rarely the direct cause of felt earthquakes. While hydraulic fracturing works by making thousands of extremely small “microearthquakes,” they are rarely felt and are too small to cause structural damage. As noted previously, wastewater associated with hydraulic fracturing has been linked to some, but not all, of the induced earthquakes.

Unknowns and Questions Moving Forward
House damage in central Oklahoma from the magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 6, 2011.  Research conducted by USGS geophysicist Elizabeth Cochran and her university-based colleagues suggests that this earthquake was induced by injection into deep disposal wells in the Wilzetta North field. Learn more about that research at: http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2013/03/26/G34045.1.abstract. Photo Credit: Brian Sherrod, USGS.
House damage in central Oklahoma from the magnitude 5.6 earthquake on Nov. 6, 2011. Research conducted by USGS geophysicist Elizabeth Cochran and her university-based colleagues suggests that this earthquake was induced by injection into deep disposal wells in the Wilzetta North field. 
Learn more about that research at: http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2013/03/26/G34045.1.abstract. Photo Credit: Brian Sherrod, USGS.

USGS scientists are dedicated to gaining a better understanding of the geological conditions and industrial practices associated with induced earthquakes, and to determining how seismic risk can be managed.
One risk-management approach highlighted in Ellsworth’s article involves the setting of seismic activity thresholds for safe operation. Under this “traffic-light” system, if seismic activity exceeds preset thresholds, reductions in injection would be made. If seismicity continued or escalated, operations could be suspended.
The current regulatory framework for wastewater disposal wells was designed to protect drinking water sources from contamination and does not address earthquake safety. Ellsworth noted that one consequence is that both the quantity and timeliness of information on injection volumes and pressures reported to the regulatory agencies is far from ideal for managing earthquake risk from injection activities.
Thus, improvements in the collection and reporting of injection data to regulatory agencies would provide much-needed information on conditions potentially associated with induced seismicity. In particular, said Ellsworth, daily reporting of injection volumes, and peak and average injection pressures would be a step in the right direction, as would measurement of the pre-injection water pressure and tectonic stress.

Importance of Understanding Hazards and Risks
There is a growing interest in understanding the risks associated with injection-induced earthquakes, especially in the areas of the country where damaging earthquakes are rare.
For example, wastewater disposal appears to have induced the magnitude-5.6 earthquake that struck rural central Oklahoma in 2011, leading to a few injuries and damage to more than a dozen homes. Damage from an earthquake of this magnitude would be even worse if it were to happen in a more densely populated area.

Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with injection at the site in this photograph. Photo taken on Jan. 15, 2013. Photo Credit: William Ellsworth, USGS
Oilfield waste arrives by tanker truck at a wastewater disposal facility near Platteville, Colo. After removal of solids and oil, the wastewater is injected into a deep well for permanent storage underground. This disposal process has the potential to trigger earthquakes, but very few wastewater disposal wells produce earthquakes. No earthquakes are associated with injection at the site in this photograph. Photo taken on Jan. 15, 2013. Photo Credit: William Ellsworth, USGS
Start with Science
As the use of injection for disposal of wastewater increases, the importance of knowing the associated risks also grows. To meet these challenges, the USGS hopes to increase research efforts to understand the causes and effects of injection-induced earthquakes.
More Information
The USGS has FAQs online that provide additional details and background on induced seismicity. You can also learn more by reading a story by the Department of the Interior on this topic.

Related:

 


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Dec 26, 2012
Seismic Alert: New Madrid Earthquake Swarm - LA Sinkhole - Large area of Gas Bubbling - Information Only - 26.12.2012. madtownpreppers.blogspot.com/2012/11/new-madrid-fault-zone-alert-information.html. Watching ...
Jan 20, 2013
Illinois Basin - Oazark Dome Region This large region borders the much more seismically active New Madrid seismic zone on the seismic zone's north and west. The Illinois basin - Ozark dome region covers parts of Indiana, ...
- See more at: http://madtownpreppers.blogspot.com/2012/11/new-madrid-fault-zone-alert-information.html#uds-search-results

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