Ohio Earthquakes Linked to Hydraulic Fracturing

Jan 6, 2015

Credit Nicholas Tonelli / Flickr

Researchers at Miami University in Ohio have concluded fracking was most likely the cause of earthquakes that have taken place in the state.

Last March, 77 earthquakes occurred in Poland, Ohio, a town near the PA-OH state line. Reporter Julie Grant of the Allegheny Front joins us to discuss this recent report.

Grant explains that the study, which was published in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (SSA), draws a connection between fracking activity and earthquakes, concluding that fracking in the area of Poland Township, Ohio activated an already existing underground fault.

Both fracking itself and the subsequent injection of fracking wastewater into the ground, can cause seismic disturbances, Grant says.

The authors of the SSA study found correlations between activities in the fracking operations in Poland Township and instances of earthquakes.

Grant observes that although other studies have described the correlation by saying fracking “triggers” earthquakes, the SSA report didn’t go as far, describing the relationship instead as a “link.”