The decision by the state to hire a seismologist comes amidst growing concerns that natural gas fracking caused several dozen recent earthquakes near Dallas-Ft. Worth.
University of Texas researcher Dr. Cliff Frohlich is the state’s foremost expert on earthquakes related to natural gas fracking.
Dr. Frohlick says seismologists have known since the 1960s that the disposal of so-called “frack fluids” – primarily water – can cause earthquakes. But until recently, most of those quakes have been in areas where no one lives.
Before fracking moved in, earthquakes were nearly unheard of in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
“When you locate the earthquakes, you look around and say what’s nearby,” Frohlich said. “And I’ve had papers showing that these earthquakes are close to injection wells.”
Dr. Frohlich says that instead of injecting the water into the ground after the fracking process, companies could treat the water, as is done with sewage. However, that is a much more expensive process.