The earthquake report: We’ve been having them

Posted on 06 Feb 2015 at 12:08pm
Earthquake epicenters determined by USGS - NEIC, April 17, 2014 through January 23, 2015.

Earthquake epicenters determined by USGS — NEIC, April 17, 2014 through January 23, 2015.

I have yet to feel any of the earthquakes that have been rattling DFW — or at least, parts of DFW — lately. But I have seen a lot of my friends talking about them on Facebook. From what they have said, the tremors and aftershocks have been pretty frequent in recent weeks, and some of them have been at least a little scary.

And then today, I got an email from the office of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings letting me know that city officials from Dallas and Irving have reviewed the findings of a preliminary study on the quakes by Southern Methodist University. .

And here are the preliminary study’s big findings:

• The epicenters are confined to an area extending from Texas 114 to Walnut Hill Road, along the Trinity River (near the site of the old Texas Stadium in Irving, indicating a fault extending from Irving into West Dallas). The new earthquake locations extend the source area through parts of Irving and west Dallas.

• Most of the earthquakes appear to be under the Fort Worth Basin; however SMU says the location may be off by about half a mile and seismologists stress the need for additional research.

•  These earthquakes are shallow in nature, and seismologists could not conclude whether the quakes were natural or related to gas well drilling.

Don’t you feel much safer now? I know I do. But to be serious (and fair), they are really just getting started, and the possibility of a severe earthquake here in our area is a very serious — and frightening — thought.

Anyway, Mayor Rawlings said, “We value the time and resources the SMU team has invested in helping us understand the recent earthquakes. The working group will discuss these findings and let us know what the next steps should be.”

The press release noted that SMU has been working with the U.S. Geological Survey to pinpoint more accurate locations for the recent earthquake swarm.

The working group is comprised of the cities of Irving, Dallas, SMU, USGS and the Texas Railroad Commission. The group is scheduled to discuss the recent report on Friday, Feb. 13.

To read SMU’s preliminary earthquake report for yourself, go here. Read it and you will find some information such as the USGS began reporting noticeable earthquakes in this area in 2008, even though there no earthquake activity here at least as far back as 1970. The current string of quakes began last April, and the largest one to date has been magnitude 3.6. There have been 5 earthquakes over magnitude 3. o since last April, and 46 quakes reported.

And if you feel the earth start to move, as my wife says when she takes a corner too fast in the car, “Hold on to your girdle, Myrtle.”

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