USGS documents the many unknowns of Athens quake

From USGS on the Athens Nov. 20, 2013 quake: 

             Depth    Uncertainty

Depth 7.9 km ± 7.8 km
This suggests it could have been much more shallow than generally stated and therefore even more likely, it would appear, to have been influenced by injection as well as by lifting of great pressure by Nelsonville bypass construction (more below).

Note from USGS technical info page on depth:

“…Sometimes when depth is poorly constrained by available seismic data, the location program will set the depth at a fixed value. For example, 33 km is often used as a default depth for earthquakes determined to be shallow, but whose depth is not satisfactorily determined by the data, whereas default depths of 5 or 10 km are often used in mid-continental areas…” Look familiar and suspicious?
Also note the distance to the nearest seismic monitor for this quake is 69.1 km, or about 41 miles!
The uncertainty even of the location is listed as “unknown,” which is explained on the USGS technical page as occurring when “the contributing seismic network does not supply the necessary information to generate uncertainty estimates.” (
A wee bit of uncertainty with this quake it appears. And ODNR is claiming it understands its origins? Hogwash.

ODNR also claims that only deep injection causes quakes. More hogwash. The 5.7M Oklahoma quake is associated with fluid injection to depths starting at 4000′ (citation below). That’s EXACTLY the depth of the proposed K&H2 injection well. It also occurred in sedimentary rock, not deep basement layers ODNR claims are the only strata at risk.

Whether or not last week’s quake was caused by injection, siting a 5500-barrel a day (231,000 gallons) injection well facility in a seismically active region is a relevant and substantive concern that must be addressed based on new information. What is the integrity of this well to withstand future quakes? What other unmapped faults are there and what fissures created by recent Washington County and Athens County quakes that might allow migration of waste to drinking water supplies? Because there is no aquifer mapping of the area (as would be required if we were subject to USEPA permitting requirements), our concerns are greatly magnified by the recent quake.

It is certainly plausible that injection of 2.1 million gallons of oilfield waste a mile from the epicenter through a now abandoned injection well in the field by the movie theater (and the Hocking River) combined with the many tons of mountain removal at the southern end of the new bypass greatly lifted pressure on underlying layers and allowed lubricant from the injection materials to lubricate faults.

The people and public officials of Athens County are upset because we are paying attention to the science, as hundreds of calls and letters to ODNR over the past week can attest. ODNR and the Kasich government have no interest in science or in protecting the public interest. They are a brutal government quite willing to destroy the people they were elected to serve and the natural resources they are entrusted to protect. Shame on ODNR and all who carry out its immoral agenda. 

citation: Keranen, K. et al. Potentially induced earthquakes in Oklahoma, USA: Links between wastewater* injection and the 2011 5.7M earthquake sequence. GEOLOGY, June 2013; v. 41; no. 6; p. 699–702.
*Note: ‘wastewater’ is a euphemism. It should be ‘waste,’ just as we don’t say ‘lemonade water’ or ‘pee water’.  It’s not water. It’s toxic, radioactive waste.