Earthquakes Continue to Rattle Faulkner County

By Katherina-Marie Yancy

(KATV) Faulkner County - After what has been a fairly quiet month, Central Arkansas is starting to feel the rumble of earthquakes again. Four quakes rattled the Greenbrier area this morning, the largest was a 3.2 magnitude.

The first quake struck shortly after 5 measured 2.6 on the Richter scale.

The 3.2 trembler followed about an hour later. The third and fourth quakes hit after 8:00, those were about 20 minutes apart and registered 2.7 and 2.9.

Two natural gas wells in the area now known as the Greenbrier Guy Swarm have been temporarily shut down until researchers come to a conclusion on whether there is a direct correlation between those wells and earthquakes.

Scott Ausbrooks with the Arkansas Geological Survey points out there are several hundred injection wells in the state and thousand across country, but only a hand full have been linked to earthquakes. When they were shut down earthquakes stopped in a matter of time.

The Arkansas Geological Survey has data showing no record of seismic activity before the two wells went online in the middle of 2010. Ausbrooks says the fault hasn't been active in about 400-million years and it is growing, approaching 10-kilometers. If the entire fault ruptured at one time it could generate anywhere from a 5.5 to a 6 magnitude earthquake.

** To see details of the recent earthquakes, click on the link "Earthquakes in Arkansas" under the picture. When you click on a date in the blue box on the right, it will pull up the time, date, location and depth.

** For recent earthquake stories by Channel Seven, click on those links under the picture.