Fracking linked to Alberta earthquakes, study indicates

Kim Trynacity, Alicja Siekierska
CBC News: November 10, 2014

Carmen Langer had just left his bed to grab a drink of water when he felt his house northeast of Peace River, Alta., begin to shake.

“At first I thought I wasn’t feeling very good that day… and it was just my blood sugar, but no, it shook pretty good,” Langer said about the Nov. 2 incident.

Moments after the shaking stopped, his neighbours were calling, asking if he had felt what they just felt.

“After a few minutes, I realized it was an earthquake,” Langer said.

Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) registered a small, 3.0-magnitude earthquake that was “lightly felt” from Three Creeks to St. Isidor in northern Alberta at 11:14 p.m. MT. NRCan said on its website there were no reports of damage, and that “none would be expected.”

Jeff Gu, a seismologist at the University of Alberta, said the earthquake could have been caused by shifting rock formations in the region — but added there could be another possible explanation.

“Certainly that region is not immune to earthquake faulting, but I would say having actual earthquakes in that area is relatively recent, relatively new,” he said.

Gu is one of three authors of a recently published study in the Journal of Geophysical Research, a peer-reviewed publication that looked at four years of earthquake data around Rocky Mountain House. The study concludes that waste-water injection into the ground is highly correlated with spikes in earthquake activity in the area.

(read the full article at CBC)

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