John Gravois | The Fort Worth Star-Telegram
While most people slept through it without noticing, some Arlington residents called 911 early Sunday morning around 4 a.m. with reports of hearing “explosions” and feeling “house shaking” from a 2.4 magnitude earthquake centered near Interstate 30 and Fielder Road, authorities said.
According to a Facebook posting by the Arlington Fire Department, “the calls seem … to be centered around the Fielder/I30 area with calls extending to the 360/Road to Six Flags part of town.”
There was no known damage to city buildings or equipment, the department reported.
Concern has run high in North Texas for months about an increase in small quakes in the region that many residents believe could be tied to drilling activity.
Texas’ newly hired seismologist told a legislative subcommittee Monday that small earthquakes are regularly recorded in North Texas but they are too small in magnitude to be felt.
Craig Pearson testified to the Texas House subcommittee on seismic activity in Austin about the Texas Railroad Commission’s proposed tightening of regulations for injection wells as scientist explore the potential link between wastewater disposal wells and the earthquakes.
He says the existing rules for injection wells were designed to protect against groundwater contamination, but not seismic activity.
“Because we’re now dealing with induced seismicity, the worry is not only about water moving up but out to dormant faults,” he said.
Seismologists already know that hydraulic fracturing — which involves blasting water, sand and chemicals deep into underground rock formations to free oil and gas — can cause microquakes that are rarely strong enough to register on monitoring equipment.
This report contains material from The Associated Press.
John Gravois, 817-390-7734