January 2015 – GEOLOGY – Eleven earthquakes, three of them greater than a 3.0 in magnitude, rocked North Texas through Tuesday and Wednesday, knocking items off of walls, causing cracks to appear in ceilings and generally rattling nerves across the region. A lot of shaking going on in the state of Texas since Tuesday. On January 6th, around 11:02 p.m. there have been tat least ten earthquakes reported in Texas, at least seven of those centered in or near the Irving area. The latest earthquake hit at 11:02 p.m. and was centered along the Dallas-Irving border just off Spur 482 east of the old Texas Stadium site. The sixth earthquake, just before 10 p.m., had a magnitude of 1.7. The seventh earthquake, the fifth to hit Irving in one day, registered 2.4. The shaking started early in the afternoon wit the first North Texas earthquake reported in Irving. The USGS later confirmed a second 3.5 magnitude quake near Snyder, about 230 miles west of Fort Worth. Then a third earthquake was confirmed near Irving again, just before 7 p.m. A fourth and fifth earthquake hit North Texas around 8:15 p.m.
The fourth quake was a 2.9 magnitude and the fifth registered 2.7, according to the USGS. Both were smaller than the third, and strongest, Irving quake that registered 3.6. That happened at 6:52 p.m. The second Irving quake was east of the first tremor, with the epicenter near the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the USGS, spoke with NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and said while the Irving earthquakes happened only hours apart, given the strength and intensity, “we’re not calling it an aftershock.” At last count Tuesday night, there had been 22 earthquakes in the Irving area since November 1, 2014.The third earthquake is only the third in the DFW area, since 2008, to register 3.6 on the Richter Scale. The other two were in the Azle-area in November and December of 2013.
Some residents believe the implosion of Texas Stadium in 2010 may have exacerbated problems. There is also speculation the quakes might be related to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” an energy extraction technique that has a long history in north Texas. About 40 miles west of Irving, a series of small earthquakes rattled the town of Azle a year ago, causing sinkholes and cracks in house foundations. Residents blamed fracking and injection disposal wells for drilling waste as the cause but an official finding is still pending. Energy industry officials have said fracking is safe and causes no significant seismic damage.
People from Dallas to Irving, and Grapevine to Plano reported feeling the first 3:10 p.m. earthquake. The USGS confirmed that a quake registered at 3.5 magnitude was centered east-northeast of Irving. Physicist John Bellini with the USGS said earlier in the afternoon there should be little or no damage from quakes of this size. USGS geophysicist Jana Pursley says Tuesday’s quakes were the “largest since the earthquakes started happening there in the last year.” –CBS News