Florida Panhandle Sees 3 Earthquakes in 1 Week, Experts Offer Explanations For Unusual Seismic Activity

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Florida Panhandle Sees 3 Earthquakes in 1 Week, Experts Offer Explanations For Unusual Seismic Activity

Florida is likely one of the least seismically energetic states, however residents within the northwest Panhandle space would possibly say in any other case.

Three earthquakes struck the world between Jay, Florida and Flomaton, Alabama between March 6 and 12, measuring 2.7, 3.1 and a couple of.3, respectively. The trigger, in accordance with an professional interviewed by Pensacola News Journal, may very well be one in every of two issues: oil drilling in Jay or an historic fault system.

Houston-based Maverick Natural Resources owns the Jay oil area, which is close to the Florida-Alabama state line. According to the corporate’s website, the positioning has one billion barrels of authentic oil in place at Jay Field. The firm makes use of “miscible nitrogen and water flood” to optimize oil manufacturing.

This collection of earthquakes mirrors the same 1997 seismic occasion within the space, in accordance with Auburn University geologist Joan Gomberg, who wrote a paper for the US Geological Survey in 1999 describing the 1997 earthquakes. Gomberg’s analysis concluded that there may very well be a hyperlink between oil drilling and the earthquakes.

Her analysis additionally said the tremors may be a part of the Pollard-Foshee fault system, which runs via the world.

Gomberg instructed PNJ Wednesday the latest quakes had been in the identical basic space because the 1997 quakes.

“There is a major ancient fault system running through the area,” she mentioned within the article.

Gomberg mentioned the quakes may very well be associated to pure or human exercise however didn’t affirm or deny that they had been related to grease drilling within the space.

Local meteorologist Spinks Megginson offered real-time earthquake protection on his PinkZone Weather web site and social media channels. Megginson instructed Newsweek he’d been in touch with USGS geophysicists, and that it’s subsequent to unimaginable that oil drilling or fracking instantly induced the earthquakes.

“Our area lies along a normally inactive fault line known as the Bahama Fracture Zone,” Megginson mentioned. “Earthquakes generally don’t happen along the fault, but seeing minor activity like this is not uncommon or unprecedented.”

The director of Alabama’s Geological Investigations Program instructed Al.com on Thursday the quakes are a part of “normal seismic activity.”

Sandy Ebersole, who heads the division of the Geological Survey of Alabama that paperwork and research earthquakes, mentioned it’s not unusual to have a number of small-scale earthquakes back-to-back.

“We do have episodes of this kind of seismic activity clusters once in a while,” Ebersole mentioned within the article. “That’s regular seismic exercise for our space.”

The Panhandle quakes aren’t the one latest tremors within the Sunshine State, nevertheless.

Florida Today reported a number of residents of the state’s west-central Space Coast skilled unusual rumbling that shook parts of Merritt Island, Viera, Cocoa, and presumably as distant as Lake Mary, about 6 p.m. March 8.

Unlike the Panhandle quakes, the Space Coast shaking was not robust sufficient to be picked up by the U.S. Geological Survey, however many in contrast the 2 incidents nonetheless, the article mentioned.

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