Over the past several years, nearly every Oklahoman has heard about, and felt, the effects of earthquakes. Thanks to funding provided by the Groundwater Protection Council, the Corporation Commission and voluntary funding from the oil and natural gas industry, we now have the best means yet to help unlock the mysteries behind our state’s extraordinary seismic activity.
Think of it as a visual dashboard – a real-time look at what’s going on across the state. This technology allows users to monitor seismic activity and respond to these events in record time.
“IT GIVES US THE ABILITY TO JUMP AND BE RESPONSIVE TO THE PROBLEM. WHAT WAS TAKING TWO OR THREE STAFF TWO DAYS TO DO, NOW TAKES FIVE MINUTES.”
—Dan Yates, associate executive director, Groundwater Protection Council
Sophisticated software gathers different data points in real-time and compares it to existing information in an interactive map. Users can focus on site-specific data in proximity to fault lines and the amount of wastewater injected into nearby disposal wells, in correlation with present and past seismic events.
“WE CAN QUICKLY CUSTOMIZE THE CORRELATIONS BETWEEN EARTHQUAKE ACTIVITY AND THE INJECTION RATES, ALL THE VITAL INFORMATION WE’D USED TO HAVE TO CHASE DOWN IN PAPER FILINGS.”
—Matt Skinner, spokesman for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
The system delivers the most detailed seismic picture possible. Now, scientists, researchers and regulators have the most powerful tool yet to understand the complex relationships between Oklahoma’s complex geology and deep wastewater injection wells.
The information used to populate the dashboard is available to the public. However, at this time the tool is only being used by regulators and researchers to address earthquake activity in the state.
Earthquakes have declined in Oklahoma in recent months. And though it was introduced only a year ago, the visual dashboard has no doubt played a significant role in that progress. Developers see this as only the beginning. Further refinements will only increase its effectiveness and ability to keep a steady hand on seismic activity.