Was the earthquake in Hawaii do to deep water drilling for oil, and was the Virginia earthquake due to frackin?

Lots of drilling for natural gas (fracking) where this unusual earthquake appeared.

2 Responses to “Was the earthquake in Hawaii do to deep water drilling for oil, and was the Virginia earthquake due to frackin?”

  1. carbonates Says:

    Actually there is NO drilling like you describe anywhere near either of these locations. There is some geothermal drilling in Hawaii, producing clean energy, but no oil and gas drilling takes place anywhere near Hawaii.

    The nearest deepwater drilling to Hawaii isn’t even in the same hemisphere. Hawaii is the top of a volcano, created by a hotspot under the ocean crust. Any earthquakes in Hawaii are most likely related to the volcanic activity that continues to build the island chain. Even if there was deepwater drilling in Hawaii, and there isn’t, it would not effect the powerful plate tectonic forces and volcanic activity that takes place there.

    Geologically speaking, there was nothing unusual about the earthquake in Virginia. The earthquake in Virginia was on a known fault zone and took place at a depth of 6 km, or 3.7 miles. There is no hydraulic fracturing or even drilling at that depth within the state of Virginia. There is no hydraulic fracturing taking place within the state of Virginia. The nearest well that has been fractured in the past year to the location of this earthquake was in northern West Virginia and is about 120 miles away. The second closest well that has been fractured in the past year is over 150 miles away. These wells were drilled and fracked in February and April, respectively. Both had about 5000 ft laterals (one mile long) and appear to have had rather ‘small’ fracture jobs applied, judging by the amount of water and sand used. Vertical depths of these wells were about 12,000 ft, only about 60% of the depth of this earthquake.

    There have only been three wells drilled to the depths of this earthquake in this region of the US. All three of these wells that went below 19,000 ft were drilled, plugged (filled with concrete) and abandoned in the early 1970’s. None of them were fracked.

    The amount of energy used in a hydraulic fracturing job is measured at a -1.5 on the Richter scale. The earthquake in Virginia was a 5.8 on the Richter scale. That energy from a hydraulic fracturing job is about 1/20,000,000th the amount that the earthquake released, or put another way the earthquake released 20 million times more energy than a frack job. That’s roughly the equivalent of the scale of comparing the energy of a firecracker to a ton of TNT.
    http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/technology_and_impacts/energy_technologies/how-natural-gas-works.html

  2. Philosoraptor Says:

    First of all…no.
    Second of all…
    The Virginia earthquake of 2011 August 23 occurred as reverse faulting on a north or northeast-striking plane within a previously recognized seismic zone, the "Central Virginia Seismic Zone." The Central Virginia Seismic Zone has produced small and moderate earthquakes since at least the 18th century. The previous largest historical shock from the Central Virginia Seismic Zone occurred in 1875. The 1875 shock occurred before the invention of effective seismographs, but the felt area of the shock suggests that it had a magnitude of about 4.8. The 1875 earthquake shook bricks from chimneys, broke plaster and windows, and overturned furniture at several locations. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake on 2003, December 9, also produced minor damage.

    Previous seismicity in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone has not been causally associated with mapped geologic faults. Previous, smaller, instrumentally recorded earthquakes from the Central Virginia Seismic Zone have had shallow focal depths (average depth about 8 km). They have had diverse focal mechanisms and have occurred over an area with length and width of about 120 km, rather than being aligned in a pattern that might suggest that they occurred on a single causative fault. Individual earthquakes within the Central Virginia Seismic Zone occur as the result of slip on faults that are much smaller than the overall dimensions of the zone. The dimensions of the individual fault that produced the 2011 August 23 earthquake will not be known until longer-term studies are done, but other earthquakes of similar magnitude typically involve slippage along fault segments that are 5 – 15 km long.

    Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi).