SMU experts talk recent N. TX quakes, possible causes

Nineteen earthquakes have rumbled through North Texas in the last two weeks, with a majority of them centered in the Irving area near the old Texas Stadium site.

There hasn't been any major damage, but many people's nerves have been rattled.

SMU seismologists investigating those quakes addressed the Irving City Council Thursday night and outlined their extensive plan to study the quakes.

In legal terms, there's innocent until proven guilty. In seismology and the study of earthquakes, it's Mother Nature unless it's proven otherwise.

The seismologists installed a seismograph in northeast Irving on Jan. 5.

There was public comment at the meeting, and the city's mayor addressed what she has been hearing from citizens before the meeting.

Seismologists from the Texas Railroad Commission said that so far, the recent rash of earthquakes in and around Irving are not related to natural gas drilling.

SMU's Dr. Stump addressed the issue of natural gas drilling Thursday night after the meeting.

"Well, I think that there are cases that have been documented where wastewater disposal is linked to earthquakes, going back to the early 1960s at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal in Colorado," said Stump. "So there's a history of these kinds of effects, whether it's applicable here, we are a long ways from one of the injectors, but we need to quantify that in order to answer the question."

A 2.3-magnitude quake hit around 1 p.m. Wednesday, also centered near Texas Stadium.

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