New research confirms fracking causes slow, small earthquakes or tremors, whose origin was previously a mystery to scientists. The tremors are produced by the same processes that could create large, damaging earthquakes.
Fracking is the high-pressure injection of fluids underground to extract oil and natural gas. Though it is typically done with wastewater, this study examined data from fracking with liquid carbon dioxide. The process pushes carbon underground and keeps it from trapping heat in Earth’s atmosphere.