As you fine people know, I am intrigued by all things death, destruction, and mysterious. This would include earthquakes. Earthquakes freak my shit out. My neck of the woods has a few faults surrounding it, but luckily none are too active. Typically any quakes in this region are infrequent, very minor, and go unnoticed. However, a few years ago we had a quake that was strong enough to jolt me out of bed in the middle of the night. In the grand scheme of things it wasn’t all that major, but still, it was FREAKY. I woke up not because of the movement, but because of the sound it made. It was indescribable, eerie. I had been in a deep sleep so I was a tad confused as to what the hell was happening at first, but it took about 2 seconds for me to realize my entire bed was shaking back and forth, and not in the good way. Indeed I was alone, but due to the unusual chaos wished I had someone there to share the experience. Since I didn’t, I said the following profound words out loud to myself in full-on excitement and fear: “OMG it’s an earthquake!” I ran out of my bedroom, then wondered where I was going and why, and then returned to my bed for lack of a better plan. Then, just like that, it was over. *Note to self: next time remember to at least go to a doorjamb and do not sit on your bed directly under a ceiling fan that could crash down onto your face. Anyway, this experience greatly increased my fascination with earthquakes and also caused me to develop a loose plan for the potential “Big One” that has always been a possibility in my region. By “loose”, I mean that I will round up whatever water, food, and valuables and ride my bike over to the house of a close friend about 5 miles away. If I don’t arrive, she knows to come looking for me. Hey, it’s something.
I will now finally get to the point of my story. I am obsessed enough with earthquakes and have just enough dork in me that I regularly check the U.S. Geological Survey's Latest Earthquakes In the World List. Seriously, I check this thing daily. In doing so, I’ve actually learned some things and have noticed some interesting trends. Such as the significant increase in quakes in
. You might remember me bringing this up in a previous post about the sudden rash of mass animal deaths occurring all over the place. The first of those fish/bird deaths were in December in towns surrounding Guy, Arkansas, where they experienced over 500 earthquakes in the last 4 months of 2010. Arkansas also happens to be the location of significant heavy drilling, more specifically, hydraulic fracturing. There is a lot of speculation out there that this type of drilling is environmentally hazardous and can cause quakes, and that the Bush administration influenced the 2004 EPA study that concluded it was safe (hence, a broader study is being done and results should come in 2012). This part of Arkansas
According to the USGS, there have been 60+ quakes in
in the last 16 days. Apparently these are called “swarms” and occurred in the same region in the early 80’s and in 2001. Earthquake experts say they don’t know why they start, stop, or how to predict how long they will last. I would be interested to know if there is a correlation between the amount of drilling going on and these “swarms”. Most articles I've read about these recent quakes do not mention it, but I’m convinced it’s related. I’m also convinced that the government has something to do with why hydraulic fracturing is not being mentioned as a potential contributor or cause. It seems only logical to at least consider it and rule it out, yet nothing. Are they trying to hide something? I would guess yes. Especially if something they have deemed “safe” is indeed causing it. Fortunately, most of these quakes are on the smaller side and not causing significant damage (although they did have a 4.7 late last night - their largest in 35 years), but clearly something is awry. The most traditionally active faults in Arkansas have not had the volume of quakes that the U.S. has had the past several months. I just don’t buy that this is a natural occurrence. Run for your lives, people of Arkansas . Arkansas