Nine earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.6 to 3.6 rattled North Texas over a period of less than 24 hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday.
The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the temblors in the Dallas suburb of Irving. No major damage or injuries were reported.
The first earthquake, a magnitude 2.3, hit around 7:37 a.m. local time Tuesday and was centered near the former site of Texas Stadium, once home of the Dallas Cowboys.
KDFW viewers reported feeling a stronger, magnitude 3.5 earthquake at around 3:10 p.m. that was felt in Irving, Dallas, Mesquite, Arlington and Coppell. That quake was followed by the strongest in the area in recent weeks — a magnitude 3.6 temblor just minutes before 7 p.m.
The fourth quake, a magnitude 2.9, hit at 8:11 p.m., with the fifth, a magnitude 2.7, happening just a minute later at 8:12 p.m.
They were followed by the sixth, a magnitude 1.7 quake at 9:54 p.m., a magnitude 2.4 at 10:05 p.m., and a magnitude 1.6 at 11:02 p.m. The ninth confirmed earthquake, a magnitude 3.1, occurred at 12:59 a.m. Wednesday. With the exception of the sixth earthquake, all of the temblors were centered in Irving.
A total of 25 quakes that have shaken North Texas since late October.
Southern Methodist University seismologists began installing equipment Monday to monitor the recent quakes.
Before 2008, there had been only one reported earthquake in what’s called the Fort Worth Basin. Since 2008, there have been more than 100 in North Texas, which has led some to wonder if an increase in fracking is related to the uptick.
SMU seismologist Dr. Brian Stump told KDFW that is not yet part of the discussion, but disposed wastewater is not being ruled out.
“When they recover the oil and gas, there’s fluids with … there’s water with that, and they have to separate the water, and then they have to dispose of the water,” said Stump. “Historically, it has shown that in some places that they’ve triggered small to moderate earthquakes.”
For many, Tuesday’s quakes were the first they’d ever felt.
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