Earthquake intensities on the increase in Central Arkansas

map courtesy USGS.gov
map courtesy USGS.gov

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GUY, AR (KAIT)   The earthquake 'swarm' that has been occurring in and around Guy, AR (Faulkner County) for the past several weeks, appears to be increasing in intensity. The AP in Little Rock reports no injuries or damages in the latest quake activity on Monday. However, since late Friday night, the USGS has reported 4 quakes with magnitudes of 3.0 or higher on the Richter scale:

  • ·         3.0 on Friday at 11:13 pm CDT (04:13 UTC)
  • ·         3.0 on Sunday at 7:48 am CDT (12:48 UTC)
  • ·         4.0 on Monday at 8:33 am CDT (12:33 UTC)
  • ·         3.6 on Monday at 11:06 am CDT (16:06 UTC)

Previously, most of the events have been in a range of 1.5 – 2.5 magnitude.  Since October 5, the USGS reports close to 50 events of magnitude 1.0 or greater in Faulkner County.  See List

KATV in Little Rock contacted Scott Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey who commented on how the quakes may be connected with the increased natural gas drilling in the area. Ausbrooks relates that plots of natural gas wells (now numbering over 3000 the area) do not necessarily line up with the pattern of the quake swarm.  However, the geological survey is looking into the possibility of wastewater disposal wells causing the spike in seismic activity.  Read full story

Possible seismic activity from wastewater disposal wells has been suspected at two other locales that have experienced similar phenomena recently.   Geologists are studying areas in North Texas and in central West Virginia which have experienced 'swams' of small earthquakes, though not on the scale found in the region around central Arkansas.  All the locations have the presence deep wasterwater disposal wells in common.

© 2010 KAIT.  The Associated Press and KATV-TV contributed to this report.