Underground disposal of wastewater from fossil fuel production in the nation’s largest oil field is causing long-dormant faults to slip in a way that could damage wells, according to new analyses of satellite and seismicity data.
Many Americans are ambivalent about natural gas, which produces less carbon dioxide than oil or coal but results in emission of methane, a far more potent greenhouse gas in the short term. Stanford experts weigh in on the subtleties of the issue.
Researchers have mapped more than 250 faults and found that the majority of faults underlying the Fort Worth Basin are susceptible to earthquakes, some of which extend under highly populated areas in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.
A seismic stress map created by Stanford geophysicists can help predict which parts of West Texas and New Mexico may be at risk of fracking-induced earthquakes. The map could guide oil discovery efforts in the region.