Gov. Greg Abbott appointed an advisory committee last month to provide advice on using funding and research on seismic activity.
The nine members of the Technical Advisory Committee to the Bureau of Economic Geology will help decide on spending $4.47 million for a comprehensive earthquake study. The Legislature authorized the funding for the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program last year.
The bureau, the oldest organized research unit at the University of Texas at Austin, will investigate the increased frequency of quakes using seismometers placed statewide. These machines can help find the trigger for the earthquakes.
“TexNet will advance the understanding of both natural and induced earthquakes, including those in or near urban areas or in locations where human activities may be inducing earthquake activity,” a bureau report says.
Studies have suggested that deep wells for injecting drilling waste could be a cause.
The Texas Railroad Commission has been reluctant to make a connection between human activities and North Texas quakes. This study could give the oil and gas regulatory body some answers.
The committee is made up almost entirely of energy industry representatives and seismologists.