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Man-Made Earthquakes
Teacher Contributed

Man-Made Earthquakes

Topic

Waste Water Wells

Student Exploration

Can humans trigger an earthquake?

Geologists have been gathering data around the possibility of manmade earthquakes!Check it out: Man-Made Quakes

Here is a quick video segment showing the current geologic explanation:

What do you think? Any other ideas of what could have caused the earthquakes? Is this still a good way to dispose of waste?

Extension Investigation

  1. Not only are scientists worried about the tectonic jostling, there are also concerns that the waste will leak out into the groundwater: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-fracking-wastewater-wells-poisoning-ground-beneath-our-feeth
  2. There are always two sides to the story though! Here is the Environmental Protection Agency’s website designed for young students showing them that carbon sequestration and underground storage will help global climate change: http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/solutions/technologies/ccs.html
  3. What do you think? Are waste water wells good or bad? If they are good, how do you explain the potential earthquakes and groundwater pollution? If they are bad, where would you prefer this waste to go? What are the alternatives? Gather research from both sides of the argument and host a debate (in class or online).

Resources Cited

National Public Radio. http://www.npr.org/2012/06/20/155411570/man-made-quakes-get-geologists-attention

News Media Animation. You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7m1QXq21HA

Scientific American. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=are-fracking-wastewater-wells-poisoning-ground-beneath-our-feeth

Environmental Protection Agency. http://epa.gov/climatechange/kids/solutions/technologies/ccs.html

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