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Clatter that arose was city’s 9th quake


Published: Sun, December 25, 2011 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Karl Henkel

khenkel@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

The depth of the city’s latest earthquake was the shallowest to date, according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey.

A magnitude 2.4 earthquake — the ninth since March with an epicenter in Mahoning County — shook Youngstown at 1:24 a.m. Saturday.

But unlike the previous eight earthquakes, the depth, or hypocenter, of Saturday’s shake was more shallow.

The preliminary determination from USGS was that the depth was 4 kilometers or 2.4 miles below the ground. All of the other shakes registered depths of about 5 kilometers or 3.1 miles.

Later on Saturday, the USGS revised the depth to 4.9 kilometers, but maintained a margin of error of 3.1 kilometers.

USGS collected data from 31 stations as of Saturday afternoon.

The quake, like all eight before it, occurred near a brine-injection well on Ohio Works Drive near Girard and was felt by many area residents.

Scott Williams of Youngstown was one of them.

“I was laying in bed just about to fall asleep when the bed started shaking and the items on my shelves started rattling,” Williams said.

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.

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 7,000 feet below the bottom of the D&L Energy Inc. brine-injection well.

About 300 feet of the D&L injection well reaches the depth of the Precambrian, a nearly impermeable formation, 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 taken place yet; D&L will plug it once another well, in Coitsville, is fully operational.

The well site remained open Saturday.

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

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


Comments

1juanita1944(34 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

i keep telling people parkwood is undermined with coal shafts....gravel mines on top of trumbull hill ffive old gravel mines had to be taken care of when they put in the new extention....downtown girard has coal mines underneath them.......eckman coal company dug coal under girard... god people these digging are good for the mills it will make jobs....but what about the other things.....maybe the quakes will wake up people........sheesh.

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2UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

You can only expect more quakes as the greedy company continue to inject that crap down that well. How much proof does ODNR need to stop it? Closing this well will only move the earthquake problem to Coitsville. Get ready Coitsville, the earthquakes will soon be with you.

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3hmm(184 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Some people are never happy huh forever... You complain about no jobs,crime,and poverty . I remember my Dad saying "there's prosparity coming out of those stacks" looking at the night glow of the steel mills. Not thinking of the killing of a river the cancer.causing agents landing on our house as we breathed it in, or the smog alerts that affected everyone.. NOT that I agree with fracking ..... You can't have it both ways.... You continually bitch about people of youngstown (suburbs are part of Y-Town )Yet now that prospective jobs are being created you bitch about that ... Make up your mind ....

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4NoBS(1982 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Has anybody thought there could be another reason for the earthquakes? Better ask AlGore - they could be Climate Change related. Everyone knows when things warm up they expand. Everyone knows the earth is warming. Two plus two adds up to four.

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5CongressWatcher(173 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

@NoBS, global warming on the west side of Youngstown and in Girard. Excellent observations. I think you are on to something here!

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6hellokitty(161 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Leave it to the Vindy to make light of the situation...just look at the headline....Clatter? Seriously, WTF?

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7mobius(4 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Incredibly stupid comment. NoBS is a misnomer. That's total BS.

Jobs? are you serious. I heard one report that there would be 200K jobs created in Ohio from oil and gas operations. The entire oil and gas industry only employs 183K people in the entire nation. Even if Ohio sees 10% of those jobs that's less than 2K jobs! Do the math folks! There are 12 million people in ohio. That won't even put a dent in our jobs situation. They're playing on your hopes, fears, and dreams....just like any good salesmen. That's their job: Go in, get possession of the resource, extract the resource as fast as possible, and get out.

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8mobius(4 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Folks....it's all about one thing: $$$$$$$$$$$$$

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

Clean Air Act Exemption for oil and gas drilling (Pg. 55 section(4) )
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2...

Safe Drinking Water Act Exemption

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

(SEC. 322. HYDRAULIC FRACTURING.)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-109...

And then go see what they plan on doing with all of our Ohio-extracted natural gas. Sell it to Asia!!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/1...

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9southsidedave(4806 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Someone better take notice before a major problem develops resulting in a loss of life!

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10jtamarkin(37 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

"Gasland" is worth watching...fricking fracking. The Halliburton loophole probably(?) needs to be closed. There have already been large losses of wildlife and many cases of severe water pollution. The (in)directly related human illnesses and deaths---well, Cabot, Noble and the other big players aren't exactly admitting any guilt. What price jobs??? (And yes, really, how many people do you know who are employed in the natural gas industry? Should we include everyone who is involved in the process---steel, electronics, excavation, monitoring, transportation et al?)

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11CongressWatcher(173 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Keep up to date on the totally avoidable earthquake activity in the valley here: http://www.munimanagement.com/shookup/

Its a google map with all the epicenters plotted along with the injection well in question.

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12misterlee(118 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

The pro-fraking comments get fewer and fewer with each earthquake...

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13chemist73(1 comment)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

As is with global warming, many people fail to see the correlation between environmental change and man's impact on Mother Earth.......why is it that we must wait till a disaster occurs before we see the light? This has nothing to do with political affiliations! We are all on this planet together.......if it is no longer inhabitable someday we are all out of a home!!!!!!!!

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