261 earthquakes of a magnitude 1 or greater from 8/27/1990 to 8/27/2010 (20 years):
8578 earthquakes of a magnitude 1 or greater from 8/27/2010 until today, 9/3/2016 (6 years):
That’s a 3187% increase in number of earthquakes in approximately 1/3 the amount of time.
Some scientists believe these earthquakes are the result of the oil and gas industry pumping waste water into underground caverns.
Regardless of the reason, it is clear that this area is having tons of earthquakes.
Granted, the earthquakes are usually fairly small. I think the biggest has been around magnitude 5.6 (which is still big enough to scare you half to death and even cause some damage and injury). Even so, this area is very close to another seismic zone that I think few people want to agitate: the New Madrid.
The centers of the Oklahoma zone and the New Madrid are only ≈500 miles away from each other, and the shaking originating at one zone can easily be felt at the other if the earthquake is big enough (magnitude ≈6, though you can probably feel a 5.6 too).
If this is indeed a man-made phenomenon, the oil and gas companies need to figure out a different way to dispose of the waste water because it is a fact that earthquakes in one area can cause earthquakes in another.
And the New Madrid can produce earthquakes above magnitude 8. Yes, you read that correctly.
Can you imagine a magnitude 8 earthquake in the heartland of America?
Earthquakes in the heartland are no laughing matter. They’re not like other earthquakes. They’re earthquakes on steroids.
They’re extremely violent and wreak havoc over a larger area than earthquakes in other regions due to the unique makeup of the earth in the heartland.