Fewer Quakes in 2016 But Scientists Still Predict Stronger Ones Could Occur in Oklahoma


The Oklahoma Geological Survey indicates while the state could drop nearly a third below last year’s record number of earthquakes, the year 2016 so far has been the second worst for the frequency of quakes.

For the past year, the frequency of quakes in the state had been slowing but the year will also be known for at least three significant quakes, each of magnitude-5.0 or more. One turned out to be the strongest so far in recorded history in the state.

Doctor Jeremy Boak, director of the Oklahoma Geological survey says the 90-day average of quakes registering magnitude 2.8 is now less than 2 a day. Actually, the figure is 1.75 a day. Last year, the peak was more than 4.5 a day.

He has high hopes, according to the Tulsa World that the oil and natural gas industry will share more of its seismic data with the research community in the new year.

Despite the state’s moves to cut wastewater injection back into the earth, some scientists believe Oklahoma stands about a one in three chance of experiencing another quake greater than 5.0 magnitude.


“We may need to be on the hunt for a fault that could move but hasn’t yet,” Boak told The World. And he said just because the frequency of quakes is declining, it doesn’t mean another large quake won’t happen somewhere in Oklahoma.

Boak said his expectation is for the decline in frequency to continue, but he reminded Oklahomans not to become complacent that another large quake won’t happen.

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