reply to post by thorfourwinds
I wonder what part of Texas is being aimed at right now by this big rock?
Here is the thing: a 7.8 quake in Texas would be devastating. Texas sits on a whole bunch of limestone, and we have quite a few underground springs
and aquifers. The drought has caused these to run at far, far lower levels. The lack of hydraulic support is a concern for me, as limestone is known
to erode. In the areas where the erosion are greater, there is less structural support of the upper crust already. Imagine the ages of water flow we
have had in those limestone bound aquifers....
Add to this the drilling. Not just drilling, but frac drilling. I was driving to Lubbock on Thursday (actually to Idalou, outside Lubbock...but no
one has heard of Idalou ) for a junior high football game and noted that at one point about 20 miles from my hometown, I could count 10 new wells
being drilled. These were small rig operations, either. BP is about to start drilling en masse further to the west, near Ft. Stockton. Right now,
and for the last 4 years the oil boom has been on in West Texas.
All the drilling leaves open cavities in the rock below (unless you are talking about shale operations, like near the Gulf). Add to this the fracture
drilling, and the effects it has had on the limestone buttresses and structural support in between the aquifer systems.
West Texas has been having quakes recently. We have always had them, but not as frequently as we have lately. I think this is caused mostly by the
release of weight from the loss of surface water in our drought. Entire lakes of dried up. Large lakes, like Lake Meredith near Amarillo. That is a
LOT of weight to release from the crust. And this release of pressure, in my opinion, is driving our earthquakes.
To me, it seems like a quake of that size would be devastating to the geology of the area.