Are seven minor earthquakes recorded in the Mahoning Valley since March, an area where no earthquake epicenter has been recorded before, related to a deep brine-water injection well in the area? Does hydraulic fracturing create a risk of similar small quakes?
At this point the relationship of the tremors to the deep injection wells is coincidental, said Dr. Jeffrey C. Dick, chairman of the Geological and Environmental Sciences Department at Youngstown State University, because there is not yet direct evidence to link the two occurrences.
However, a scenario in which water from the wells migrated a couple thousand feet deeper, entered and lubricated a previously unknown minor fault is plausible, Dick explained.
He also added that most people in the area where the tremors were recorded probably didn’t even know a quake had occurred until they read about it or heard it on the news.