USGS: Earthquake study shows potential risk for region

USGS: Earthquake study shows potential risk for region

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A study that looked into induced and natural earthquakes showed a potential for damage in Arkansas over the next year or so, according to a federal report.

The U.S. Geological Survey on Wednesday released a one-year seismic hazard study for 2016 for the central and eastern United States.

The report mentions there is a possibility of major damages in the region.

"Ground shaking seismic hazard for 1-percent probability of exceedance in 1 year reaches 0.6 g (as a fraction of standard gravity [g]) in northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas, and about 0.2 g in the Raton Basin of Colorado and New Mexico, in central Arkansas, and in north-central Texas near Dallas," the report noted. "Near some areas of active induced earthquakes, hazard is higher than in the 2014 USGS National Seismic Hazard Model (NHSM) by more than a factor of 3; the 2014 NHSM did not consider induced earthquakes. In some areas, previously observed induced earthquakes have stopped, so the seismic hazard reverts back to the 2014 NSHM. Increased seismic activity, whether defined as induced or natural, produces high hazard. Conversion of ground shaking to seismic intensity indicates that some places in Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Arkansas may experience damage if the induced seismicity continues unabated."

The report also measured two different models. One model looked at one and two-year figures and another one looked at multiple year projections.

"Forecasts from these two hazard models are significantly higher than the 2014 NSHM by a factor of 3 or more," the report said. "Generally, the two models agree within 50 percent or less from one another. The higher hazard levels in active injection areas could lead to potential damage across Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Arkansas. High hazard levels in some of these zones of induced seismicity are comparable with those in California and New Madrid, which also have high earthquake rates. Over the past decade, damage has already been observed at several locations in these states. However, some areas that have previously experienced induced earthquakes have quieted down over the past years, and the resulting hazard reverts back to what is portrayed in the 2014 National Seismic Hazard Model."

However, the report noted that more research was needed to determine the exact level of threats for the region.

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