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Yep — another Valley earthquake in the same area as the others

Published: Sat, December 24, 2011 @ 10:38 a.m.

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake shook Youngstown early Saturday morning, but this one was a little different than the rest.

The earthquake -- the ninth this year with an epicenter in Mahoning County -- struck at about 1:24 a.m.

The shake, like eight of the nine before it, occurred in close proximity to a brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive near Girard.

A brine-injection well is one method of disposal for fracking fluids. Fracking is a process in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted into rocks thousands of feet below the ground to unlock natural gas and oil.

But unlike the previous earthquakes, the depth of Saturday's shake was shallower than the previous eight.

The preliminary determination on the 2.4 earthquake on Christmas Eve morning was that it happened 4 kilometers below the ground. All other shakes registered depths of about 5 kilometers.

A state geologist told The Vindicator that multiple seismographs are needed to pinpoint exact depths.

That prompted the state to entrust the Lamont- Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University to set up four seismographs in the Valley.

The approximate depth of the latest quake is about 4,000 feet below the bottom of the D&L Energy Inc. brine-injection well. The earthquake depth, however, occurred in the deep-rock formation known as the Precambrian, a nearly impermeable formation.

About 300 feet of the D&L injection well reaches the depth of the Precambrian, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR will mandate D&L to plug the bottom 250 feet of that well to "alleviate any perceived [earthquake] accusations."

That plugging hasn't yet taken place; D&L will plug it once another well, in Coitsville, is fully operational.

The state has contended there is no definitive correlation between this particular injection well and earthquakes.

Brine-injection wells have been known to cause earthquakes, including at Colorado's Rangely Oil Fields in the 1960s.


1redvert(2240 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

See, these little quakes settle the ground so there is less chance of a big one.....

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2taxme(361 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

9 earthquakes this year and some people are so so about it. Bob Hagen should step to the plate and get some answers. He wouldnt be doing his job if he didnt. Pay no attention to these greedy tea baggers. Safety first.

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3northsideperson(366 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

I wondered if it was another quake ... the house didn't shake like the last one, but it sounded like a gunshot.

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4southsidedave(5199 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Getting to be like California around here!

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5najjjj(106 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

carlstaatz, I read your first post and thought you were being sarcastic because I naively believed no one would seriously write such nonsense. You must be out of you mind. Now you're talking about a regime you support and concentration camps. Hmmm, sounds vaguely familiar, do you all sport swastika tattoos?

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6najjjj(106 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

redvert, you are incorrect. Studies have shown that not all small earthquakes simply relieve pressure, preventing larger quakes. A higher percentage of them have actually been shown to be pre-shocks........precursors to a larger event. Check the USGS site.

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7faith(200 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

carlstaatz, my fear is that you really do believe what u r posting. While i do not think we should stop fracking, studied do need to be done and residents do need to be protected.

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8Askmeificare(1229 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Keep Drilling and everyone get off of carlstaatzs' ass.

carlstaatz is making observations that you everyday folks indeed support with your sense of entitlement lifestyle and the ignorant ways you folks can't see what the consequences of your actions are.

So go ahead folks. Sign up for an adjusted rate mortgage that you don't care to understand nor repay or smoke your cigarettes without thinking you may contract cancer or comment on local businesses gossip, innuendo, and unfounded, unproven, and editorial reporting.

You folks against these businesses are probably the same folks that smoked pot in the 60's, protested our country by burning our American flag and became friends with your kids rather than be a responsible parent to your very own children who needed their parents to be a teacher for them.

carlstaatz so far is the only one making sense on this article.

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9cosmo(2 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Take all the Brine water and dump it into man made holding ponds. Let the water evaporate and treat the rest at centralized locations across the U.S. Just because deep well injection is out of site out of mind does not mean that it is safe. Who is to say that the brine and chemicals that are mixed with the brine will not find their way into aquifers in time. Sure it could be possibly more expensive, but in the long run it would save our water supply. Do not make it about money.

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10Nichthebuilder(3 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Giving blatent sociopaths like (unnamed) too much attention is a sure way to give them exactly what they want. They are looking for a reaction to their unrealistic extremism, of which 99/100 people don't agree with and most of you are giving them exactly that. Sometimes these crazy people even have money and a bit of logic but in the end they are a minority and when society wakes up about the deception we have been fed, they will either cower in fear and disappear, or they become a the new disillusioned minority.

That being said, I felt the earthquake in Youngstown and can personally say that in my life I have never felt such a rapid and sharp shifting earthquake in Ohio. Until reading this story, I assumed it was a shotgun blast somewhere near my yard. At one point I went around the house to see if something large had fallen because that's the type of shift it was, very explosive for such a small magnitude.

As far as fracking, I see the logic in the argument about using our resources but the fallacy in that stance is that we aren't in the middle of the the Arabian desert. We aren't sitting in the middle of a rural area like west Texas. These injection wells exist within close proximity to and in some cases actually within heavily occupied residential areas. There is no liability, and there will be no justice given those risk factors, for the people who depend on well water, farm land, or individuals whose property could suffer uninsured earthquake damages. Given these risk factors to residents near these site, there has been NO attempt to properly notify and give people the risk information necessary to prepare them for the those liabilities. The money created by the influx of workers will be limited to service industry, which isn't going to do anything for the average lower middle class citizen whose wages won't change. When this is all over in 5 years, we are left with a heap of risks and nobody to fix the problem but the victims. That's the reality.

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11mobius(4 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Folks....it's all about one thing and always will be: $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Go read the actual laws on file that have been written to exempt the Oil and Gas industry from liability. Then tell me who you think is protecting the best interests and welfare of local citizens.

Resource and Conservation Recovery Act Exemption for Oil and Gas Wastes

http://www.epa.gov/osw/nonhaz/industr... (EPA guidance document explaining exemption)

2005 Energy Bill Exempted Fracking from the Safe Drinking Water Act (see pg. 102 of bill)


Clean Air Act Exemption for oil and gas drilling (Pg. 55 section(4) )

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12mobius(4 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

carlstaatz: Energy Independence??? National security...blah, blah, blah. ...you better look again at what these companies plan on doing with all of this natural gas. They plan on exporting it as LNG to the rest of the world.


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13whitesabbath(738 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

Keep drilling, I want ocean front property.

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14rocky14(839 comments)posted 4 years, 7 months ago

They'll end up selling all this natural gas to China anyway.

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