|Seismogram posted this morning by |
the Oklahoma State Geological Survey
The first reported earthquake in Oklahoma occurred in September 1918, according to a USGS summary of earthquake history in the state, and earthquakes have not been uncommon in the state. Earthquakes have increased in frequency from about 2009 to the present and there is speculation, though no agreement, on the cause of this increase. The Seminole Uplift is a broad subsurface feature about 50 miles wide and over 75 miles long. It consists of a number of anticlines and "faulted noses" (oil company jargon) that host oil, and the uplift has been a prolific oil source. Many of the wells drilled in the 1920's to 1940's are still producing today and it is likely that there will continue to be speculation on the role of drilling and oil production in causing shallow earthquakes such as those that occurred this weekend.
Here's a nice article on the history of oil production in Oklahoma. The geology librarian, Lura Joseph, at the University of Illinois has created a resource of earthquake and tsunami information here.
Many of us can't hear the word "Oklahoma" without hearing it as "Oooooooooo-klahoma..." from the great musical by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein, set outside the town of Claremore in 1906, one year before Oklahoma was granted statehood. The discovery of abundant oil there in 1889 and successive years contributed significantly to the granting of statehood. It's a great fun musical in case you haven't seen it!
They couldn't pick a better time to start in life It ain't too early and it ain't too late Starting as a farmer with a brand new wife Soon be living in a brand new state Brand new state, gonna treat you great! Gonna give you barley, carrots and pertaters Pasture fer the cattle, spinach and termayters Flowers on the prarie where the June bugs zoom Plen'y of air and plen'y of room Plen'y of room to swing a rope Plen'y of heart and plen'y of hope Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain Where the waving wheat Can sure smell sweet When the wind comes right behind the rain Oklahoma! Every night my honey-lamb and I Sit alone and talk And watch a hawk Making lazy circles in the sky We know we belong to the land And the land we belong to is grand And when we say Yeeow! Ayipioeeay! Yeeow! We're only saying "You're doin' fine Oklahoma" Oklahoma O-K O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma!