Weekend Read

Feel the Earth Move

Oklahoma's oil and gas boom has a dangerous side effect: earthquakes.

duggar11Photo: duggar11

“At the time, earthquakes were a relatively rare event for Oklahomans. Now they’re reported on daily, like the weather, and generally by the weatherman. Driving outside Oklahoma City one evening last November, I ended up stopped in traffic next to an electronic billboard that displayed, in rotation, an advertisement for one per cent cash back at the Thunderbird Casino, an advertisement for a Cash N Gold pawnshop, a three-day weather forecast, and an announcement of a 3.0 earthquake, in Noble County. Driving by the next evening, I saw that the display was the same, except that the earthquake was a 3.4, near Pawnee.”

—From “Weather Underground,” Rivka Galchen's New Yorker piece on how fracking and disposal wells have triggered the emergence of manmade earthquakes 

Next Story