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Minor Earthquake Occurs Southeast Of San Antonio, May Be Connected To Fracking Byproduct Disposal

On Sunday, Aug. 16, a 2.4-magnitude earthquake occurred just southeast of San Antonio.
Courtesy of the United States Geological Survey
On Sunday, Aug. 16, a 2.4-magnitude earthquake occurred just southeast of San Antonio.

Shortly after midnight Sunday an earthquake occurred just southeast of San Antonio, about eight miles southeast of Smiley, TX.

There have been no damage reports from the quake, which was a magnitude of 2.4. Sensors estimated the depth of the earthquake at approximately three miles.

This isn’t the first earthquake in the area around Smiley. Last May, three minor earthquakes hit the area within one week.

A United States Geological Survey report said it’s suspected that injecting racking waste fluids into deep saltwater disposal wells can induce seismic activity. There are numerous deep saltwater disposal wells in that area.
 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story did not make clear the distinction between the fracking process and the fracking byproduct disposal process. The USGS reports that seismic activity may be linked to the disposal process, not the initial stages of fracking.

Jerry Clayton can be reached at Jerry@tpr.org or on Twitter at @JerryClayton.

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