Earthquakes in Oklahoma are still with us—just look at what happened Friday night and Saturday morning when two earthquakes, each measuring 4.4 magnitude, struck just east of the city of Edmond.
It got the attention of thousands of residents and no doubt the quakes remain under investigation whether they had connections to oil and gas operations and disposal wells. Much of such a probe would be carried out by the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which in the past, issued requests for oil and gas operators to curtail or reduce some of their injections of wastewater. The injections were suspected of causing some of the earthquakes in years past.
The most recent quakes began Friday night at 9:37 p.m. when a 3.2 magnitude quake was recorded near Arcadia. stronger quake, measuring 4.4 magnitude struck 10 minutes later with an epicenter approximately four miles west of Arcadia.
Two smaller earthquakes of 2.7 magnitude and 2.5 magnitude followed Friday night.
Saturday morning, a 2.6 magnitude quake was recorded about 4:45 a.m. near Arcadia. Then, an hour later, a 4.4 magnitude quake was recorded near Edmond. It was followed by a small earthquake that measured 2.7 magnitude and was felt around 6:55 in the morning.
Strong shaking was observed according to the Oklahoma Geological Survey but no damages were reported by the public.
The Survey listed the events as follows:
“There was a M4.3 event at 9:46 PM local time followed by a M4.1 about 5:36 AM on January 13, 2024. There were reports of strong shaking in the immediate areas and across Oklahoma City.”
“In addition,there has been activity along this fault in the last month starting on December 29, with 5 events between M1.0-1.6 between December 29 and January 6. The seismicity from the last decade indicates there were 3 M4.0 or greater events in 2015 and 2017, corresponding to a time period when wastewater disposal volumes were higher. Whereas most aftershocks are smaller than the mainshock, a very small fraction of aftershocks result in a larger earthquake than the main event. The seismic hazard remains high in the area.”
The City of Edmond issued a statement saying it inspected facilities and infrastructure to identify and assess impacts of the earthquakes.
“We are in contact with state officials investigating the occurrences, as well as the Corps of Engineers, who will inspect the dam at Arcadia Lake for impact.”
It said new water andd wastewate infrastructure in place as part of the city’s on-going water infrastructure improvements, including water towers, are built to structurally handle the seismic activity, but will be inspected sto ensure their integrity and ability to continue to deliver safe, clean water to Edmond residents.