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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Geologists say a fault in central Arkansas where hundreds of earthquakes have been recorded in recent months is longer and potentially more destructive than initially believed.
Scientists had thought the fault is 3.7 miles long. Now they estimate it to be 6 to 7.5 miles long.
Arkansas Geological Survey geohazard supervisor Scott Ausbrooks told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the length is a concern because a longer fault could trigger bigger earthquakes.
More than 800 earthquakes have been recorded in the area in the past six months — including a 4.7 magnitu
Geologists say a previously unmapped fault that is the source of a swarm of earthquakes around Guy and Greenbrier in Faulkner County is longer and potentially more destructive than they initially believed.
Prompted by growing knowledge of the fault, the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission last week ordered a halt to operations at two disposal wells in Faulkner County that commission staff think might be linked to the seismic activity.
The injection wells operated by Chesapeake Operating Inc. and Clarita Operating LLC contain discarded fluid used to drill for natural gas in the Fayetteville Shale. In the five days since the injections were stopped Thursday, the number of the biggest quakes - those over magnitude 2.5 - has decreased in the ...
Was their first estimate based on observation, or guesstimates?
And depending on the answer to that question...have the swarm of recent quakes made this fault longer than it was?
Or has it always been this size, and they just figured that out?
Geologists at the Arkansas Geological Survey say the current Greenbrier-Guy swarm is giving them a clear picture of a fault they never knew existed.
Geohazard Supervisor Scott Ausbrooks says they used to believe the fault ran about six kilometers from Greenbrier to Guy. But recent seismic activity has Ausbrooks thinking the fault is closer to 12 kilometers in length, raising the magnitude of a potential earthquake from 5.0 to 6.0.