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Shaken more than 560 times, Okla. is top state for quakes in 2014

Oklahoma had a fivefold surge in earthquakes last year, making it by far the most seismically active state in the Lower 48. The Sooner State was shaken by 564 quakes of magnitude 3 and larger, compared with only 100 in 2013, according to an EnergyWire analysis of federal earthquake data. California, which is twice the size of Oklahoma, had fewer than half as many quakes. Researchers and many people in the state believe the quakes are linked to oil and gas activity, namely deep-underground disposal of drilling waste fluid.

The stars on the map above show the location of earthquakes believed to have been triggered by oil and gas wastewater injection or other human activity since 2008. The white, green, yellow and red shading shows the expected earthquake hazard based on past natural earthquake activity. Click to enlarge. Map courtesy of USGS.

About This Report

A surge in seismic activity is occurring around the U.S., and many top scientists are pointing at injection of waste from drilling and hydraulic fracturing as a possible culprit.

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