For a second straight morning, there has been another earthquake northwest of Fort Worth – the 25th since November 1.
This one was among the largest recorded since the beginning of this quake outbreak: a 3.7-magnitude tremor located about 11 miles northeast of Mineral Wells, where, at the end of November, there were back-to-back quakes registering 3.6 and 2.8, prompting the Tarrant Regional Water District to conduct daily inspections of the Eagle Mountain Reservoir.
This morning’s quake occurred at 3:23, and was felt from Fort Worth to Weatherford.
It follows a Sunday-morning tremor that yet again rattled Azle, which has had its fill of earthquakes in recent weeks. Yesterday’s was a 3.6 felt from Dallas to Oklahoma City.
It’s believed most, if not all, of the quakes are being caused by injection wells used to dispose of wastewater from gas drilling. The Texas Railroad Commission will neither confirm or deny that sentiment.
“Texas has a long history of safe operations of injection and disposal wells (RRC issued the first injection well permit in 1936, and statewide there are more than 33,000 injection and disposal wells), and staff has not identified a significant correlation between faulting and injection practices,” spokesperson Ramona Nye told us earlier this month.
But they’re looking into it: “When earthquakes are reported, our staff will determine if saltwater disposal wells are nearby and then inspect the facilities to ensure that they are in compliance with their Railroad Commission permit conditions. Please keep in mind, that some reported earthquake epicenters in Texas have not been near saltwater disposal or injection wells. Commission staff this week inspected one Azle-area disposal well after the reported seismic events and found this disposal well was in compliance with Commission rules.”
We’ve asked if there’s any further word.
The US Geological Survey’s latest quake map showing tremors stronger than 2.5-magnitude in the past 30 days. The orange dot is today’s.