Texas earth quake statistics
September 17, 2014 9:07 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for graphs and charts that show how many earth quakes of various intensities have happened in Texas over the last ten or more years.

I can see some but they tend to go up to 2010 mostly. Does anyone know where you can find data on the number of and intensity of texas earthquakes put into a chart form, or that is easily accessible to compare then and now?

Family members in the Dallas area are experiencing earthquakes and it seems like something totally new for them, (and there is fracking where they are).

I have seen statements about how earthquakes have gone up over ten times since fracking, but I want to see the actual data and I think it's weird there's nothing that already easy to present to the people who need to see this (which is everyone!). Even if it comes up to 2012 or 2013 is fine. (I already have found tons or articles talking about this and the recent ones I just feel like it's weird there are no charts that make the stark change more visible to go along with the words.)
posted by xarnop to Science & Nature (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
USGS has a lot of data for all over, including Texas.
posted by k5.user at 9:15 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

(I actually saw that and was frustrated that it's not very clear how many were happening each year over the years up to now...)
posted by xarnop at 9:16 AM on September 17, 2014

did you use the advanced search with a bounding-box for Texas/Dallas area, with the magnitude turned down, and date range to what you'd like ?
posted by k5.user at 9:20 AM on September 17, 2014

But, it looks like their search page will give you what you want into a CSV file that you can do whatever you want with. There seems to be all kinds of filters. You'll need to look up coordinates for the area you're interested in.
posted by sevenless at 9:21 AM on September 17, 2014

google gives this is bounding boxes (for Dallas)

Location (lat/lon): 32.767620, -96.777657
Bounding Box:

NE 32.989849, -96.516907

SW 32.545391, -97.038422

Or can use center and radius. Then pick your date range. (I could possibly hack a URL to direct search results, but better to let you play with the search page to see what you're looking for and what it offers)
posted by k5.user at 9:25 AM on September 17, 2014

Thanks k5.user! I will try to figure that out. It just seems weird to me that I can definitely find straightforward charts, that are easy to use for technologically challenged people, but all seem to suddenly stop at 2010 or 2011.

I was (and am still!) hoping there was something I could share on facebook because I'm looking to help inform as to the level of problem in a more direct way (and on facebook people generally will respond better to a graphic). But maybe there just aren't any yet.
posted by xarnop at 9:39 AM on September 17, 2014

This is not a new observation - there's already been some work in the area. Sorry for the NPR link, it was the only good summation I could find not behind a journal paywall. But there's some links in there that are worth following up on.

This is the equivalent of a state geologic survey for Texas. You might contact them.

This is a significant earthquake map of Texas until 2012. Significant is 3.5+.

I'm in a tearing hurry, so I didn't have time to look for a good one, but you need a good fault map of the area. Also Wikipedia has good primer on the structure and geology of the area with some follow-up links on the Barnett Shale, which is what they would be fracking.
posted by barchan at 10:23 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

It looks like the link to search results you get (this website is a fantastic time waster by the way) saves the view exactly as you have it. So, for example, this link is (I believe) recorded quakes within 100km of Dallas since September 1980. With some screen clipping and annotating you could make a graphic. There is a cluster of low magnitude, shallow quakes west of Dallas near Reno, TX mostly in the past year or so. I guess that hasn't gone entirely unnoticed.
posted by sevenless at 10:24 AM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

It turns out Wolfram Alpha has earthquake data and can make a pretty dramatic looking timeline frequency-wise. Here are all earthquakes within 100 miles of Dallas with a magnitude > 0 in the past 30 years. You can change all those parameters at the top of the "Results" section.

Unless you have a Pro account you may occasionally get a "Standard computation time exceeded" error. Just try again.
posted by sevenless at 9:51 AM on September 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Thanks so much sevenless, that's just what I was hoping for!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks everyone for digging around!!
posted by xarnop at 3:21 PM on September 18, 2014

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