Intrigue over constant Arkansas quakes: Does it portend a larger shake coming or is gas fracking the culprit?

For months, earthquakes have rattled the state of Arkansas. The swarm has now produced 1,000 earthquakes since September 2010 through July 2011–and even more since.

The quakes have been centered between Guy and Greenbrier. It has become so concerning to officials that the Arkansas Oil & Gas Commission ordered four gas wells to be shut down. Geologists blamed hydraulic fracturing for the tremors in the area. But now, ten miles north of Guy, shaking is continuing..

According to a report in the Arkansas Democrat GAZETTE, some worry now that tension is building beneath the surface of the earth in the state. Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, said that the situation ‘bears watching.’ He told the DEMOCRAT GAZETTE, “I’m not saying that’s what it is. I don’t want to scare people and I don’t want to say it’s going to happen. It’s just something we’re looking at.”

The Arkansas paper goes on to report: 

The continuing shaking could also be related to ongoing drilling activity about 8 miles outside of Quitman, Ausbrooks said, though he noted that’s a significant distance. Or it might be tied somehow to the plugging of one of those four shuttered wells.
Ausbrooks said he couldn’t preliminarily pinpoint how the plugging of a well would induce quakes, but the shaking in Quitman started just days after the northernmost of the four closed wells was plugged.
“Right now, we’ll just say it’s a coincidence,” he said.

Gas extraction the key?
The blame?
The culprit? 
Or is there something larger taking place? Something more concerning..


Friday into Saturday have brought six more earthquakes in the area.


The rattled nerves Arkansas towns rattled by earthquakes will not enjoy any form of solace in the thought that ‘it’s a coincidence.’ But at least it’s a hope. A hope that nothing larger is forming under the feet of the tiny towns that have been shaken now for years.

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