Category Archives: Tectonic activity

Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?


Sixty Minutes sent a reporter to Oklahoma to find out if the significant upswing of earthquakes being experienced there is the result of fracking. He interviewed a number of home owners and a visiting geologist, and they convinced him that, yes, fracking is the cause.

Steven Hayward of “Powerlineblog.com” located a video from Stanford University’s Department of Earth Science that says their study finds that fracking is not the cause.

Before you view the 4 minute video, it probably will be helpful to have a little background on “produced water” which is central to the topic.

When wells are drilled they often encounter water which comes up with the oil or natural gas. This water is usually salty and/or has other contaminates so it can not be used for agriculture. This water is typically reinjected into the well for disposal. But sometimes the quantity is too great and other means of disposal must be found. Underground disposal in sites drilled deeply into the Earth is often used for this purpose. Produced water has long disposed of in this manner.

Other details about produced water will be provided after you see the video. Please note the speaker is very clear that the fracking is not the problem.

More background:

John Veil at the Ground Water Protection Council—Underground Injection Control Conference in February 2015 presented “New Information On Produced Water Volumes and Management Practices”.

There are nearly 1 million oil and gas wells in the US that generate large volumes of Produced Water.

He reported the estimated volume of produce water in 2007 21 billion bbl for the year.

Ninety-eight percent goes into injection wells.

His summary for the period from 2007 to 2012

US oil production increased by 29%.

US gas production increased by 22%

US produced water decreased by 2.4%

Viel notes:

Here is my hypothesis

  • Conventional production generates a small initial volume of water that gradually increases over time. The total lifetime water production from each well can be high
  • Unconventional production from shales and coal seams generates a large amount of produced water initially but the volume drops off, leading to a low lifetime water production from each well
  • Between 2007 and 2012, many new unconventional wells were placed into service and many old conventional wells (with high water cuts) were taken out of service
  • The new wells generated more hydrocarbon for each unit of water than the older wells they replaced.

So the conventional wells with hig levels of produced water were replace by fracked wells that generate less produced water per unit of production.

So, yes oil production, if ceased,  would probably make a big reduction in Oklahoma eartthquates. But fracking per se has not caused the problem. The  energy that is being released little by little will probably benefit someone  in the future.  I suspect if I lived there it would not be a big selling point. But of course,  oil and gas production are  the  big selling points to the people in the “oil patch.”

cbdakota

Plate Climatology Theory


ClimateChangeDispatch posted “Global Warming and Plate Climatology Theory” on 7 October 2014.   The posting was written by James Edward Kamis, a Geologist who says he believes there is a probable connection between Geology and Climate. He begins this discussion of his theory by saying:

“The Sun, quite obviously, is the first order driver of Earth’s climate, but a much neglected second order driver can contribute significantly to short-term variations. The theory proposed herein is that periods of active Earth tectonism can be correlated to periods of active climate change and climate related events.

Increased global tectonic activity equates to more faulting and crustal plate movement, which leads to more global heat release from faults, fractures and volcanoes that are more active.

Altered heat input equates to climate change.

seafloorvolcano

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Are Seafloor Volcanoes Altering The Climate?


I have received some interesting email of late that states that seafloor volcanoes are altering the Globe’s climate. So, I have been combing through the internet to see what I could find on this topic.

One theory is that seafloor volcanoes are more active in the time of glaciations than at time of the warming period in between. The thinking is that the increased weight of the ocean’s water, as it rises due to glaciers melting, reduces the activity of the many seafloor volcanoes.   The converse is true about the land-based volcanoes that would become more active as the weight of the glacial ice disappears. The ash emitted from land-based volcanoes can cause cooling of the atmosphere but seafloor ash does not get into the atmosphere.

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El Nino–Walker Circulation


The prior posting, “Some Background Regarding An El Nino began like this: “Currently, the weather is being strongly affected by an El Nino.  El Nino is but one part of a weather/climate system known as the El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO).  There are three phases of ENSO — El Nino, La Nina and Neutral.   ENSO is important because of its ability to change the global atmospheric circulation, which in turn, influences temperature and precipitation across the globe. The global atmospheric circulation is called the Walker Cycle   Circulation“.

This posting examines the Walker Circulation.(I have seen both cycle and circulation used but much of my sourcing for this posting uses Circulation.)

First lets talk about high and low pressure centers. Fair weather generally accompanies a high-pressure center while clouds and precipitation generally accompany a low-pressure center.  Low-pressure centers are formed by a hot surface. For example, the hot Pacific Ocean water that is driven to the Maritime Continent by the trade winds along the equator. The air is hot and moisture laden and as it rises, it cools and the moisture becomes rain. It reaches high-level winds that drive it to the west or east. This air is now dry and cool. It begins to fall forming a high-pressure center.   The air in the high-pressure center begins to flow toward the low pressure center residing above the hot seawater located in the Maritime Continent. Along the way it begins to warm and pick up moisture and then rise. This completes the circulation.

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NASA Satellite:Highest Levels Of CO2 In Southern Hemisphere


A new NASA satellite finds the highest levels of atmospheric CO2 in the Southern Hemisphere. One would have expected the highest levels over the Northern Hemisphere where the highest concentration of fossil fuel use occurs. This result is the first publication of the satellite’s measurements so it may be an anomaly.

NASA provided the following “Average CO2 Concentration Oct 1 to Nov. 11, 2014” chart:

OCO-2image2Note the scale on the bottom of the chart, that ranges from 387 to 402.5 ppm atmospheric CO2. As you can see the more red the coloring on the chart the higher the CO2 level. Roughly the red begins about 400 ppm. The reddest areas are over South America, Africa, Indonesia, China, the Northern Pacific East of Japan and the Southern Pacific East of Australia.

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