The people of most of Oklahoma were reminded Friday morning that the seismic instability is still an issue.
Within minutes, the USGS assigned the latest quake as a 4.2 magnitude. A 3.8 & a 2.7 event followed within minutes of the first.
Just last September, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission instituted a policy off limiting the volume of waste saltwater back into the ground under the Arbuckle formation.
There's no doubt that the quake issue has improved since the policy was implemented. But we are learning as we go. The Arbuckle formation is a bedrock layer which has proven ideal for petroleum producers to return the byproduct saltwater back to the depths of the earth without harming surface waterways.
Some areas of Pawnee, Payne, Osage, and Logan County are completely off limits. from injections back to the old wells.
Fracking is not a significant cause of this seismic activity. The Corporation Commission, the EPA, and the USGS all seem to largely concur on the matter. Fracking is a separate process and does not involve the massive volumes that saltwater waste injections do.
In the aerial photos below, we can see what appears to be a petroleum operation with several large tanks.
The epicenters of the 4.2, 3.8, 3.5, 2.9,2.7, & 2.7 magnitude quakes (according to the USGS) are marked with the pin drops. This kind of proximity is more that coincidental to many who study the quake activity in Oklahoma.