Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Be sure you’re sitting when you read this.

On the heels of Los Angeles’ biggest jolt in a while and the magnitude 8.2 shake off the coast of Chile, earthquake activity has been the headlining act in the weather world as of late. In fact, you can see for yourself a plethora of activity from the United States Geological Survey‘s earthquake map.

But an area most may be unaware sees any seismic activity has shattered — just like the glass on its shelves — an earthquake record. Oklahoma, early Saturday, recorded a whopping 253 year-to-date measurable earthquakes, those 2.5 magnitude or larger. This surpasses the total for 2013, which was 222, a record in itself.

If Oklahoma stays on track, they’ll see an estimated 600 tremors. A real banner year. But it’s likely the larger number is thanks to very active faults of late along the American coasts. Other theorists have hypothesized unnatural occurrences such as tracking and drilling for oil have caused the amount of earthquakes to increase. It looks like Dorothy and Toto have more to worry about than those pesky tornadoes.


Screen Shot 2014-04-05 at 9.16.56 PM

Screenshot data map showing today’s quakes in Oklahoma (usgs.gov)

To support those theories, officials halted fracking operations last week in Mahoning County, Ohio. The Ohio “Rust Belt” recorded more than a dozen tremors over the course of less than two weeks. March’s events were a flashback to similar happenings in 2011, when a fracking well was shut down after officials linked it as a potential earthquake perpetrator. The last recorded quake before these two events had been awhile. Something like 300 years.

Fracking and other underground activities are nothing new. Man has been drilling for water for a long time. But the latter of those activities does not seem to cause much damage. However, blasting water into rocks has to cause some sort of unnatural build-up and create a pressure overlay so extreme, the rock would have to buckle.

Because of the recent earth-moving events, dialogue has commenced once again surrounding the “Big One.” But like most things that will happen in the future, we have no idea of exactly when it will happen or exactly how big it would be.  Scientists can only say when it happens, we’ll all feel it in one way or another.

One area of concern, or hype, is Yellowstone National Park. Home to a rather active underground, many claim Yellowstone is just waiting to pop. The “Supervolcano” rumors run rampant here. Even last week, when the park felt a large 4.8 magnitude quake, many believed activity of the land’s bison pre-emptively warned of a yet-to-come shake. In fact these rumors, as rumors often go, went the way of a once famous Yellowstone inhabitant — the dinosaur.

The bison were simply doing what they do every year — looking for food and playing around on a nice spring day. It was just more publicized this year due to the fact people are all about causing a mass hysteria and seeing their viral video(s) on some news site(s).

Don’t fret.

Granted, whenever the “Big One” comes, you can read about it here, on The Morris Report. In the meantime, watch this.


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