Last year had the highest number of earthquakes in state history, scientists said.
The state shook more times than ever with 222 earthquakes in 2013 that registered as a 2.5-magnitude quake or more, a record for Oklahoma, said Austin Holland, who is a seismologist who moved to the state to study quakes at the Oklahoma Geological Survey in 2009.
So far in 2014, there have been 63 earthquakes that were 2.5-magnitude or greater already, Holland said.
“The more earthquakes you are going to have the more damaging earthquakes you are going to have,” Holland said.
On Dec. 7, Marty Doepke, general manager of Pops, a State Highway 66 restaurant near Arcadia Lake, heard a boom and felt the ground rumble with a 4.5-magnitude quake that occurred east of the lake four miles northwest of Jones. The 5,000-square-foot restaurant and soda pop store was built to withstand earthquakes, he said. All of the glass bottles on display shelves are glued down, so there was no damage.
“We've certainly felt them a couple of times,' Doepke said. As long as the quakes don't get any bigger, the concrete and steel building should be fine, he said.
In November, a swarm of quakes was felt in the Arcadia Lake area in Edmond. More quakes are being reported in more populated areas, he said.
“We've had just a remarkable number of earthquakes,” Holland said.
He said a new seismologist has been hired at the Oklahoma Geological Survey, Amber Lee Darold, helping to find a reason for the earthquakes.
The cause of the increased seismic activity is under investigation.
“We're continuing to try to understand this and to keep up with the number of earthquakes,” Holland said.
When Holland moved to Oklahoma from Arizona there were 38 earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 or greater felt in 2009.
Then 104 earthquakes were felt in 2010 and 97 quakes in 2011, Holland said, before the number dropped to 64 in 2012.