North Texas rocked by 11 earthquakes in 40 days

It’s been a shaky time in North Texas over the past month and half.

According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey’s earthquake database, North Texas has seen 11 earthquakes since the beginning of June, including the most recent 2.7-magnitude quake that rocked the area on Friday.

All the quakes registered below 3.4 magnitude, which usually doesn’t cause much damage.

Earthquakes in the Tarrant and Johnson counties of Texas have become more common during the past four years.

According to the earthquake database, those counties have seen roughly 30 earthquakes in the past four years, but before 2008, the area didn’t see a single earthquake.

The time matches up pretty close to deep injection wells opening up in North Texas, according to NPR.

A Southern Methodist University study tied quakes from 2008 to 2009 to nearby deep injection wells, and a more recent study by the National Research Council also pointed the finger at injection wells, adding that hydraulic fracturing likely isn’t a contributing factor.

Of course, these events are fairly rare, the study found.

“Only a very small fraction of injection and extraction activity have induced seismic activity noticeable by the public,” said Murray Hitzman, chair of the committee that authored the report.

The quakes in Cleburne, which is 30 miles south of Fort Worth, were enough to get State Farm to send letters to residents, urging them to get earthquake insurance. Nearly all of the quakes were well below the 4.0 mark, which usually brings some damage.

Below is a map of the recent earthquakes with the nearest drill site. We tried to nail down the deep injection wells, but those were a bit harder to find. The information is from the USGS and FracFocus.org.


View Earthquakes rock North Texas in a larger map