Oklahoma is a state in the Mid-West of the USA, north of Texas. It is landlocked (has no coastline).
A magnitude 5.6 earthquake was recorded on Saturday 3rd September. This was the most powerful earthquake recorded in the US state for some time. The location of the earthquake is shown by the star on the map on the right above.
(Source: United States Geological Survey)
Study the graph above. It shows the number of earthquakes recorded in Oklahoma has dramatically increased over time. Many people that this is because of a process called ‘fracking’. This is a way of extracting (getting) gas out of a rock called shale. The rock is injected with high pressure water and chemicals that fracture (break) the rock. Gas trapped inside the rock is then released and is captured for use by people.
Fracking is controversial for many reasons, not just that it is thought to cause earthquakes.
geog.live knowedge check
Where is Oklahoma?
Before 2008, what was the highest number of earthquakes experienced in one year in Oklahoma?
Describe the change in the number of earthquakes experienced in Oklahoma each year since 2008
Can you think and any reasons why people might think fracking is a good idea?
When the gas is burnt, what problem might that contribute to?
Fracking was suspended in the UK when an earthquake was experienced in the Blackpool area. Do you think fracking should be allowed in the UK? Why or why not?