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Ohio Earthquake Shakes Things Up

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[ Science]

A 3.5 magnitude earthquake shook Ohio today and alarmed residents. The earthquake took place near Nelsonville, Ohio, a small town just North of Athens and East of Columbus. It took place at 12:59 p.m. and was felt throughout southern Ohio and even in West Virginia. The earthquake’s epicenter was 4.9 miles deep about 2.5 miles east-southeast of Nelsonville.

There were no reports of injuries or damage caused by the earthquake. Earthquakes that measure a 3.5 on the Richter scale are usually small and although they can be felt indoors and over fairly large distances, they are not usually strong enough to cause any damage. The earthquake felt today was the most powerful in Ohio since a 4.0-magnitude temblor centered at Youngstown occurred on Dec. 31, 2011, according to the Ohio Division of Natural Resources’ geological survey.

Ohio doesn’t usually have to worry about earthquakes, and when they do happen, they are almost always relatively low on the Richter scale. After the quake, many people started looking for the cause of the quake. One popular theory is that water fracking could be causing the earthquakes that do occur in Ohio.

Water fracking is the process of pumping water into the ground to add pressure to walls, eventually causing cracks that allow natural gas to flow out of them. Youngstown, Ohio is the site of fracking used to expel gas from the Marcellus Shale, a geological formation rich in natural gas. Fracking is known to cause earthquakes and has been proven to be the cause of several in Oklahoma and the 2011 earthquake that struck Youngstown, Ohio.

Many experts argue that fracking does not cause earthquakes and that the areas where the earthquakes occur are positioned on fault lines. It has not been determined if the earthquake that struck Ohio today was caused by fracking.

Image from The Columbus Dispatch.

Ohio Earthquake Shakes Things Up
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  • Debby

    Really? Fracking!? Causing an earthquake, I’m so sorry you are so misinformed.

    • John

      You are the one that is misinformed Debby.

      http://www.nbcnews.com/science/fracking-practices-blame-ohio-earthquakes-8C11073601

  • Regina

    Debby- Fracking was listed as a potential cause of the earthquake not an actual cause…. I’M so sorry that misinformed idiots such as yourself have access to the internet, yet do not conduct thorough research before posting ignorant comments.

    • Dave

      If Fox said Fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes… then it doesn’t.

    • MungoDaddy

      Really Regina? Calling anyone an idiot for posting an opinion,whether informed or otherwise,doesn’t display much intelligence on your part.Please,leaving the childish name calling to the children.

  • fracking =environmentalterrorism

    obvious fracking quake

  • Linda

    Mother frackers.

  • coco

    Athens sits close to a small fault line. There have been earthquakes in Athens, before there ever was such a thing as fracking. You can’t control the shifting of tectonic plates with fracking. Also, fracking isn’t new, it has been going on for years in other states, with no hype about it causing earthquakes. The folks who don’t want fracking will try to persuade you otherwise. My biggest beef with fracking is the amount of water they pump in and leave behind. What will happen in many decades or centuries with that water there? They also have to use freshwater for fracking and we have a limited supply. However, people complain about burning coal and tracking, protest, etc. but they continue to use their electricity and gas. How do you expect to make it through a winter without these things? If you are really want these resources to stop being used, go buy solar panels and see how you like it. Then get back to us.