Geologists Say Earthquake not Cause by Fracking

Nov 13, 2012

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Geologists say the 4.3 magnitude earthquake that shook eastern Kentucky over the weekend was not induced by the region's underground mining activity. The epicenter was about 10 miles west of Whitesburg, in the heart of Kentucky's coal country, where underground mining and surface blasting are common.

Head of University of Kentucky’s Geologic Hazards Section Zhenming Wang says Saturday's quake occurred about 12 miles below the surface, far too deep for underground mining to have been a factor. Mining and hydraulic fracturing for natural gas can possibly be a contributor to earthquakes, but the Wang says those quakes would not be as deep and he is unaware of any fracking operations where the earthquake originated. The Saturday afternoon quake caused little damage but was felt in West Virginia, Tennessee, and other surrounding states.