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Geophysicists link fracking boom to increase in earthquakes

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Fracking linked to earthquakesThe swarm of earthquakes went on for months in North Central Texas, rattling homes, with reports of broken water pipes and cracked walls and locals blaming the shudders on the fracking boom that’s led to skyrocketing oil and gas production around the nation.

Darlia Hobbs, who lives on Eagle Mountain Lake, about a dozen miles from Fort Worth, said that more than 30 quakes had hit from November to January.

“We have had way too many earthquakes out here because of the fracking and disposal wells,” she said in an interview.

While the dispute over the cause remains, leading geophysicists are now saying Hobbs and other residents might be right to point the finger at oil and gas activities.

“It is certainly possible, and in large part that is based on what else we’ve seen in the Fort Worth basin in terms of the rise of earthquakes since 2008,” William Ellsworth, a U.S. Geological Survey seismologist, said in an interview Thursday.

Ellsworth said the Dallas-Fort Worth region previously had just a single known earthquake, in 1950.

Since 2008, he said, there have been more than 70 big enough to feel. Those include earthquakes at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport that scientists linked to a nearby injection well.

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