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The upper-crustal focal depths of the Trinidad swarm (in the upper 6 km, 19,800 ft, of the earth's crust) may have seismic hazards implications in the long-term if the earthquakes are natural. Such shallow-depth earthquakes tend to produce more intense shaking at communities close to the epicenter (within several kilometers) than do earthquakes of similar magnitude at mid-crustal depths of 10-15 km (6-9 mi)...The locations of the Trinidad earthquakes support the idea that such shallow-depth earthquakes may be a characteristic mode of seismicity in the Southern Rocky Mountains.
Hypocenters from the local Trinidad network show that the recent sequence of earthquakes occurred on a previously unknown fault located at 3 km to 6 km (10,000 - 19,800 ft) below the surface...The seismologically-identified fault system on which the recent earthquakes have occurred deserves more study to assess its geologic characteristics, its history of past displacement, and to determine if the fault extends to depths shallower than 3 km, which is the upper limit of the well-constrained hypocenters. pubs.usgs.gov...
Scientists say fracking does cause tiny earthquakes, but they're too small to be felt on the Earth's surface. The process can also cause quakes large enough to be noticed on the surface, but only if done near a fault line. And even then, the resulting tremors are likely to be mild.
"You're not going to get a really big earthquake," said Mark Zoback, a Stanford University geophysics professor who has studied the issue. "To get a big earthquake, you'd need a really big fault. When these oil fields are being developed, the companies are very aware of where the faults are. They don't want to do something stupid."