Swarm of earthquakes shakes central Oklahoma Tuesday

The U.S. Geological Survey reported nine earthquakes Tuesday in central Oklahoma. The largest, a 4.3 magnitude quake, struck at 1:56 a.m. near Luther.
By BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: April 16, 2013 at 8:14 pm •  Published: April 16, 2013

Holland said shallower quakes are easier for people to feel, which might explain why so many people across central Oklahoma woke up during the two strongest quakes early Tuesday.

“The earthquake energy in the seismic waves decays rapidly as you get away from the epicenter,” Holland said. “It's kind of like if you throw a rock in a pond. The ripples get smaller as you move away from the center.”

“We are still looking into potential causes.”

It's also impossible to know whether the recent surge in the number of earthquakes in Oklahoma is a new normal or a temporary spike, Holland said.

“We can't forecast or predict earthquakes,” he said. “We have no idea if this is going to continue the way it has been or die off. I would assume this is some sort of temporary phase. But how long that temporary is, in geologic terms, that could be hundreds or thousands of years. Who knows what kind of time frame that might be?”

Contributing:

Robert Medley, Staff Writer

Tweets about the #OKearthquake

I would assume this is some sort of temporary phase. But how long that temporary is, in geologic terms, that could be hundreds or thousands of years. Who knows what kind of time frame that might be.”

Austin Holland,
Seismologist with Oklahoma Geological Survey

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