Omergad! Fracking causes earthquakes!

By contrast, an earthquake that was 180 million times more energetic killed 80,000 people in 2008 in Sichuan. It was almost certainly man-made or, at least, man-triggered. The Zipingpu reservoir, designed to generate hydroelectric power, had been filled with water shortly before the fault beneath it failed.

A report by the Regional Geological Survey Team of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau concluded that “the mounting body of evidence and analysis indicates that the magnitude 8 earthquake was triggered by the mass loading and increased pore pressure caused by the Zipingpu reservoir”.


So does hydro
energy and so does geothermal.

13 comments on “Omergad! Fracking causes earthquakes!

  1. That’s what you get for violating Mother Gaia, and expecting not to spend your entire life sitting shivering in the dark while hand-knitting lentils.

  2. What do we want?

    Cheap clean energy that everyone will use efficiently with no risks whatsoever!

    What do you mean which planet do I live on?

  3. I don’t think they’ve quite got this engineering business down pat yet. Survey before you build the dam not once it has failed … Feng Shui just doesn’t cut the mustard.

    I suppose a sodding ginagerous dam is the latest must-have trophy for a chinese regional government leader?

  4. Meanwhile the tremors felt from fracking won’t have the slightest effect on your sex-life.

    If you want to feel the earth move, you are going to have to do it yourself.

    Sorry, you lazy bastards, sex also involves (some) physical exercise.

  5. 1.8 on the Richter scale is hardly a tremor. I used to live in Johannesburg when gold mining was still active and frequently had earth tremors which registered around 3. Just enough to rattle the windows.

  6. …..I don’t think they’ve quite got this engineering business down pat yet……

    I don’t think they care. Nothing must stand in the way of progress.

    They might not be real communists any more, but they still keep the old disdain for notions light individual rights.

  7. The Zipingpu dam contains some 1,120,000,000 cubic metres of water. A cubic metre of water weighs a metric tonne. So that is some 1.12 billion tonnes of water resting on the Earth. F = ma.

    Would anyone like to do a quick calculation of the trivial pressures applied during the fracking process?

    There is no way that fracking is ever going to be a fraction (so to speak) of the risk a hydro dam is.

  8. As said by the boss of Cuadrilla, there have been 9 tremors of the same magnitude as that possibly caused by their drilling in the just last few months – and Cuadrilla haven’t been drilling so it’s not their fault.

    In fact Greenpeace who are all for geothermal are happy that the same kind of drilling is being carried out in the center of Manchester even though it uses exactly the same technique.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18920893

  9. Building suspension bridges can cause earthquakes, as there is enormous point loading at two locations which can shift a local fault. This actually happened in Japan once, although the only person who said the earthquake was caused by the construction was a civil engineer who was an expert in earthquake engineering. He also said this will be a big issue if the Messina Straits bridge ever gets built.

  10. SMFS,

    The maximum pressure exerted by the reservoir can be easily calculated using:

    Water density x g x max water depth

    It’s the pressure that would cause the earthquakes, not the total load.

  11. In fact, one supposes that in the future they might deliberately trigger earthquakes in quake zones in order to prevent them from happening later and thus being bigger.

  12. johnny bonk:

    Or–they could design intermittent releases of all that pressure.

    And call ‘em “geysers.” And, of course, sell admission tickets to watch ‘em. Don’t worry–someone’ll think of it.

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