A few hours ago, while finishing reading The Distance by Helen Giltrow, I felt (and reported) another earthquake. Note on the map, below, the short distance between the epicenter and my home - about 27 miles. I believe that this was the most intense quake that I have felt in Kansas (Magnitude 4.8). Although I've lived in this area off-and-on since February 1959, I've only felt quakes within the past 2 or 3 years.
Ingineer66, in a comment to the next previous posting, brought attention to the fact that there are all sorts of wells. In particular, he mentioned waste injection wells. Herein, below, is information concerning injection wells - gleaned from the US Environmental Protection Agency's website. If wells bore you to tears, you should be forgiven for moving along without reading further. For those still reading, by following the links for each of the six classes of wells, below, one may find explanations as to how the owners/operators of wells are to protect drinking water sources from pollution.
Side Comment: Considering the history of earthquakes in Colorado that have been ascribed to fracking, I was surprised by the number of such operations I saw being set up along I-25, north of Denver CO, on a recent trip to visit Elder Brother.
What is a Class I well? Class I wells inject hazardous and non-hazardous wastes into deep, isolated rock formations that are thousands of feet below the lowermost USDW.
Class I Injection Wells - Isolate hazardous, industrial and municipal wastes through deep injection.
Class I wells are used mainly by the following industries:
There are approximately 550 Class I wells in the United States. The geology of the Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes area is best suited for these types of wells, and most Class I wells are found in these regions.
What are the types of Class I wells? Class I wells are classified as either hazardous, non-hazardous industrial, municipal, or radioactive depending on the characteristics of the fluid injected. The construction, permitting, operating, and monitoring requirements are more stringent for Class I hazardous wells than for the other types of injection wells.
The four types of Class I wells are:
What is a Class II well? Class II wells inject fluids associated with oil and natural gas production. Most of the injected fluid is salt water (brine), which is brought to the surface in the process of producing (extracting) oil and gas. In addition, brine and other fluids are injected to enhance (improve) oil and gas production. The approximately 144,000 Class II wells in operation in the United States inject over 2 billion gallons of brine every day. Most oil and gas injection wells are in Texas, California, Oklahoma, and Kansas.
Class II Wells - Inject oil and gas production related wastes. Visit the Class II Wells page to read more about these wells.
What are the types of Class II wells? Three types of Class II injection wells are associated with oil and natural gas production.
What is a Class III well? Class III wells inject fluids to dissolve and extract minerals such as uranium, salt, copper, and sulfur. More than 50 percent of the salt and 80 percent of the uranium extraction in the United States involves the use of Class III injection wells. There are about 165 mining sites with approximately 18,500 Class III wells in operation across the nation.
Class III Wells - Minimize environmental impacts from solution mining operations. Visit the Class III Wells page to read more about these wells.
What are the types of Class III wells? Class III wells are used to mine uranium, salt, copper, and sulfur.
Uranium in-situ leaching (ISL) is the most common method by which uranium is extracted in the United States. A typical uranium mining operation requires injection, extraction, and monitoring wells. The process includes the following steps: Injection wells are drilled into the formation containing the uranium.
The majority of Class III wells in the United States are uranium ISL wells.
Salt solution mining wells inject clean water to dissolve the salt and the resulting brine (salt water) is pumped to the surface where the salt is extracted. Two methods are used:
If the salt is contained in a dome, a single well typically is used. If the salt is contained in multiple, bedded layers, multiple injection wells are used. Salt solution mining wells make up 5 percent of the Class III wells.
What is a Class IV well?
Class IV wells are shallow wells used to inject hazardous or radioactive wastes into or above a geologic formation that contains a USDW. In 1984, EPA banned the use of Class IV injection wells for disposal of hazardous or radioactive waste. Now, these wells may only be operated as part of an EPA- or state-authorized ground water clean-up action. There are about 32 waste clean-up sites with Class IV wells in the United States.
Class V wells are used to inject non-hazardous fluids underground. Most Class V wells are used to dispose of wastes into or above underground sources of drinking water and can pose a threat to ground water quality, if not managed properly. This website provides information on recognizing the different types of Class V wells and the threats they pose. This website also provides information about:
Most Class V wells are shallow disposal systems that depend on gravity to drain fluids directly in the ground. There are over 20 well subtypes that fall into the Class V category and these wells are used by individuals and businesses to inject a variety of non-hazardous fluids underground. EPA estimates that there are more than 650,000 Class V wells in operation nationwide. Most of these Class V wells are unsophisticated shallow disposal systems that include storm water drainage wells, cesspools, and septic system leach fields. However, the Class V well category also includes more complex wells that are typically deeper and often used at commercial or industrial facilities.
Other more sophisticated Class V well types could include aquifer storage and recovery wells or geothermal electric power wells that are used to inject geothermal fluids extracted from subsurface hydrothermal systems. Complex Class V wells also include wells that are used for pilot geologic sequestration (GS) projects that are experimental in nature. On 12/10/10, the Agency finalized regulations for GS projects. These new regulations include the creation of a new class of well, Class VI. EPA understands that some of the wells permitted as Class V experimental technology wells may no longer be used for experimental purposes.
Following the final rule, Class V wells that are not being used for experimental purposes must be re-permitted as Class VI wells and will be subject to Class VI requirements. Please see the links below for further information.
Regardless of the use of a Class V well, owners and operators are responsible for protecting underlying ground water from contamination by the fluids they inject. Ninety percent of America's public water systems draw their water from ground water sources.
Class VI wells are wells used for injection of carbon dioxide (CO2) into underground subsurface rock formations for long-term storage, or geologic sequestration. Geologic sequestration refers to a suite of technologies that may be deployed to reduce CO2 emissions to the atmosphere to help mitigate climate change. (For information about geologic sequestration and climate change, see EPA's Geologic Sequestration and Climate Change pages)
This past July, I posted Another Earthquake about a small earthquake that I had felt, here at home. Since then, I believe there have been two or three earthquakes that have been centered in Kansas rather than Oklahoma. While eating lunch, this afternoon, I felt yet another one. I'm still blaming the oil industry; but, who actually knows?
Here is the summary just posted by USGS (United States Geological Survey). Unfortunately, I can't get the map to play nicely with my software; but, the link should work. [BTW: While I was posting this, another earthquake occurred with an epicenter about 4 miles distant from the one I felt. I did not feel the 2nd, weaker (3.4) earthquake.]
37.242°N 97.904°W depth=5.0km (3.1mi)
As many earthquakes as I have experienced in various parts of California, including Loma Prieta and its multitude of aftershockes, it is always a shock when I feel one here in south central Kansas. I reported what I felt to USGS. A few minutes later, USGS posted about the earthquake, as below, with nearly 800 reports having been received concerning this latest earthquake.
I can't seem to get the lower map to display the appropriate heading. The map header should read "Geocoded Map". It shows the positions of the reports received. Note the large number of reports from Wichita (and Derby).
On its website, USGS explains the process they use in evaluating each earthquake. The explanation starts with this introduction:
This web site is intended to tap the abundant information available about earthquakes from the people who actually experience them. By taking advantage of the vast numbers of Internet users, we can get a more complete description of what people experienced, the effects of the earthquake, and the extent of damage, than traditional ways of gathering felt information. And best of all, with your help we can do so almost instantly.
By contributing your experience of the earthquake, either immediately afterward, or whenever it is possible for you to do so, you will have made a contribution to the scientific body of information about this earthquake. You will also ensure that your area has been represented in the compilation of the shaking map. This is a two-way street. Not only will you add valuable information on the extent of ground shaking and damage, but in the process we hope you will learn more about how other communities fared and gain a greater understanding of the effects of earthquakes.
Things have been pretty hectic for me during the past couple of weeks, and will continue in that vein for at least another three weeks; but, that isn't the reason I've fallen behind in visiting Slashdot.org. They are Beta testing a new display that I despise! It is all cutesy-wootsy, but few postings are entirely displayed. One must hit a "more" button to see the whole thing. This is a waste of my time and interest. Fortunately, just now the display that I pulled up was the older version - compact and easily read without hassle. So...I'll catch you up on a few items that they've posted within the past week or two.
While on the subject of fracking, below is another posting on the subject - from the same source. (Full disclosure: I have a few shares of Chevron that comprise less than 1% of my holdings. It allows me to get the company reports and, for all the good it does, vote against some of the board members.)
(I was interested to read about Dunkard Township because some of my father's ancesters were born and died there.)
Although the USA is not alone in suffering drought these days, I tend to follow the conditions in the USA more than those for the world. Below is the latest USA drought map.
The data cutoff for Drought Monitor maps is Tuesday at 7 a.m. Eastern Time. The maps, which are based on analysis of the data, are released each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
The U.S. Drought Monitor is produced in partnership between the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Thanks to Hunky Husband for sending me the NASA report that featured the above map and a video about California's drought, embedded below.
Starting in the wee hours of yesterday morning, light snow began to fall in our area. Off and on, all day, it fell. At dinner time (6:00pm), Hunky Husband went out to measure the amount of snow on the ground - 7". The official snowfall in Wichita, at Midcontinent Airport (about 10 miles NW of us), was 8.7". It continued to snow, fitfully, until about 10:00pm. With all of the snowfall, it stayed warm; but, then the cold air moved in. Today, our high temperature is supposed to be 8 or 9 degrees above zero, Fahrenheit - well above the below-zero temperatures seen elsewhere - with winds of 16G34. I've always said that, I don't mind the cold as long as I get some snow to go with it - snow for ice cream!
And, ice cream I've been having. Interestingly, each time I made a bowl of ice cream, yesterday, the top layer of snow was a different type. For breakfast: powder. For lunch: corn. For dinner: flat, sparkly. Before much snow had accumulated, I snapped some photos, a few of which are posted below.