The increase in seismic activity last year in the Permian Basin triggered twice as many earthquakes in 2021, and 2022 looks about as active.

According to the Texas Tribune, residents in the area have described it as sounding like a pickup rammed in the side of the house, or the air conditioner fell off the roof, and I actually heard one of the earthquakes cause it shook my house but because I have a Tempur-Pedic bed, I did not feel it.

Over 200 earthquakes over a 3.0 magnitude shook the area last year compared to 98 in 2020 thanks to data from the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas.

Scientific studies have shown that contaminated, salty water disposed of deep in the ground is the problem causing the increase in seismic activity here in the Permian Basin.

If you are not aware, during hydraulic fracking, oil companies will force a mixture of fluids and sand into the ancient shale formations fracturing the rock to release the oil trapped in it.

The formations have been injected with millions of gallons of the black watery mixture which contains minerals, oil, and chemicals which slowly increase the pressure on the ancient fault lines.

The amount of wastewater injected last year was almost 220 billion gallons compared to just over 50 billion gallons in 2011.

Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Texas found that the vast majority of seismic activity is more than likely a result of increased wastewater disposal.

Nine earthquakes above a magnitude 4 were recorded in Texas between 2018 and 2020, mostly here in West Texas. Last year that number was 15 including the 4.6 magnitude earthquake that shook Midland in December.

So we wait to see how many more earthquakes we will be shaken by in 2022, there have already been around 20 just in the first month and a half.

 

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