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Cleburne council hires geologist after five microquakes jostle area

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posted on Jun, 10 2009 @ 04:07 AM
Source : Star Telegram

Is it just me, or are there more and more areas of the globe that gets 'clusters' of earthquakes?

I think also that if this should turn to an bigger quake with fatalities, warnings should be issued in these type of ground activities..

"We will err on the side of caution. We can withstand charges that we overreacted. What we can’t live with is if something bad were to happen, and we stood by and did nothing."

CLEBURNE — After the fourth earthquake in a week rocked Johnson County on Tuesday afternoon, the City Council hastily called a special meeting to consider hiring a geologist to determine what is causing tectonic activity.

Before the meeting could be called to order at 8 p.m., a fifth tremor was felt.

The council voted 4-0 to hire the specialist.

"Our residents are asking questions," Mayor Ted Reynolds said. "They are asking if there are any connections with the [natural gas] drilling. The prudent thing to do is to come up with any answers that we can as quickly as we can."

The day’s first quake, registering a magnitude of 2.6, struck at 5:10 p.m. while the council was in a workshop. Members immediately gave notice of an emergency meeting at 8 after their regular meeting.

Then, at 6:19 came the day’s second quake. That measured 2.1, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

They were the fourth and fifth tremors — called microquakes by the survey — in the area in a week. The others were a 2.8 on June 2, a 2.6 on Sunday and a 2.3 on Monday west of Cleburne.

The city has not determined how much a geologist might cost or what options the city has if drilling causes the tremors.

"We have more than 200 gas wells permitted in the city," city spokesman Charles Hodges said.

"We will err on the side of caution. We can withstand charges that we overreacted. What we can’t live with is if something bad were to happen, and we stood by and did nothing."

Quake clusters of this kind are not unprecedented, said Dale Grant, a geophysicist with the Geological Survey.

"You just can’t tell with ol’ Mother Earth," Grant said. "Sometimes these will come one right after another and then stop, and you won’t get another one for years."

posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 03:21 PM
Hi Chembreather

I live about 20 miles east of this town which is located just south ofFort Worth and there is a lot of oil and gas drilling in our area.

Cleburne has never had an earthquake in it's 150 year history so I think they are on the right track. There have been 3 small (largest 3.6) quakes in northern Fort Worth in the last year and that is very rare as well.

Landowners are getting a lot of money out of this so I doubt that even if they find the drilling to be the culprit the money will speak louder.

posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 03:42 PM
reply to post by ChemBreather

Where is Cleburne located? Sorry for the short post

posted on Jun, 11 2009 @ 05:17 PM
reply to post by space cadet

Cleburne is 30 miles southwest of Fort Worth Texas. Texas is not exactly an earthquake hot spot until the last year. See my post above.

Chris Hayward, a geophysics research project director, said it will take several weeks for seismic stations to be placed in Johnson County. Hayward said the depth of the quakes will be a central question.

"If the quakes are happening much deeper than the drilling, then we can probably rule it out," Hayward said. "If the quakes are happening at the same depth or a shallower depth than the drilling, then we can’t rule out drilling as a possible cause."

SMU researchers are still studying quakes measured in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport area this year and haven’t reached any firm conclusions.

Fort Worth Star Telegram

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 02:27 PM
reply to post by liveandlearn

Could be intresting to find out if the resent quakes are forming along the fault lines and tectonic plates....

posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 04:47 PM
reply to post by ChemBreather

“It’s very hard to say what causes any earthquake,” said Cliff Frohlich, associate director and senior research scientist with the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas at Austin. “That said, I’ve spent a fair amount of time looking at these events over the past several months. I think most reasonable people with earthquake training probably would say they’re related to the gas production.”

He said there have been about 100 tiny earthquakes picked up since October 2008.


The largest quakes caused by oil and gas production in North Texas have been in Lamar, Gregg, Denton and Cooke counties, among others. The largest earthquake registered 4.2 and struck in April 1934, according to the report.

Today from the Fort Worth Business Press

If something else shows up I will post.

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