SMU to Deploy 22 More Seismographs in Irving

Members of Dallas' Southern Methodist University seismology team will install nearly two dozen more seismographs in the Irving area to try to learn more about a cluster of recent earthquakes.

Eleven quakes have been recorded since Tuesday morning in an area near the former site of Texas Stadium. Since 2008, more than 100 quakes have hit North Texas; 45 were in the Irving area alone and more than 20 happened in just the last three months. Before 2008, only one earthquake had ever been recorded in that area.

SMU said Wednesday that 15 monitors were being deployed today and that two others, provided by the United States Geological Survey, would be deployed Thursday.

Irving Quake Swarm (Jan. 6-7)
1. 7:37 a.m. Jan. 6, 2.3M
2. 3:10 p.m. Jan. 6, 3.5M
3. 6:52 p.m. Jan. 6, 3.6M
4. 8:11 p.m. Jan. 6, 2.9M
5. 8:12 p.m. Jan. 6, 2.7M
6. 9:54 p.m. Jan. 6, 1.7M
7. 10:05 p.m. Jan. 6, 2.4M
8. 11:02 p.m. Jan. 6, 1.6M

1. 12:59 a.m. Jan. 7, 3.1M
2. 8:34 a.m. Jan. 7, 2.6M
3. 9:57 a.m. Jan. 7, 2.7M
4. 1:24 p.m. Jan. 7, 2.3M

Another five would be provided by Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and are scheduled for deployment Friday.

In a news release Wednesday, SMU scientists stressed that learning more about the recent series of quakes would be an incremental process.

"In the near term, our first step is to put out seismographs to confirm and refine the location of the quakes and define the faults in the area," said Heather DeShon, associate professor of physics at SMU. "Only after we get that data will we be in a position to investigate the potential cause of the earthquakes."

SMU said the current series of earthquakes are the fourth sequence of felt earthquakes recorded in the Fort Worth Basin since 2008. The previous earthquakes sequences occurred near DFW Airport, Cleburne, and the Reno-Azle area.

SMU studies of the DFW and Cleburne quakes cited wastewater injection wells as a plausible cause of the seismicity in those areas. Information on those previous SMU studies is available here.

The report on the earthquakes in the Azle-Reno area has not yet been released, SMU said.

"It’s premature to speculate on the cause of this current series of seismic events," said Brian Stump, SMU’s Albritton Chair of Geological Sciences. "We’re just getting started. We want to support the local community in understanding these earthquakes, and the team appreciates the cooperation of the City of Irving, the United States Geological Survey and IRIS in helping us get the best information possible."

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