Fourth quake in three days rattles northeast Parker County

Posted Friday, Nov. 08, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A fourth earthquake in three days shook northeast Parker County Thursday night, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

The 2.9-magnitude quake, the biggest so far this week, was registered at 10:32 p.m. about 5 miles south-southwest of Springtown, the USGS reported.

“This is part of a continuing swarm of earthquakes,” said Dale Grant, a geophysicist at the USGS’s National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. “We consider this rather minor, but it was widely felt.”

There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Grant said USGS scientists are unsure why northeast Parker County, an area not historically known for seismic activity, has been shaking.

The first quake registered 2.6 at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday about 2 miles east of Reno. An aftershock was recorded about 10 p.m. Tuesday. The third event, a 2.7-magnitude quake, was reported at 11:05 a.m. Wednesday, about 3 miles south-southwest of Springtown.

“Why they would spring up in this particular area is a mystery,” Grant said. “The Texas state geologist will begin an inquiry. Right now, we just keep monitoring them, but there is no way we can infer a cause and effect because we just don’t know.”

What about hydraulic fracking, a technique being used in North Texas to extract natural gas from the Barnett Shale? Several Star-Telegram readers have asked if that is a possibility.

“Everybody’s got an opinion on that,” Grant said. “Truthfully, we just don’t know until more investigation is done by people in that area. To speculate what might be the cause is just that — speculation.”

Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST

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