3/03/2015 — Midwest 3.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Kansas Fracking Operation

A rare borderline 4.0 magnitude (3.8M revised) earthquake struck South Central Kansas just 1,400 feet from the nearest fracking wastewater injection well.

kansas 3.9m earthquak mar 3 2015


This movement in Kansas comes on top of the activity along the New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ), which occurred 3 days ago on February 28, 2015.

Over the past week, up to March 3 2015, we have seen multiple earthquakes across Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Alabama, and Missouri.     These earthquakes are an indicating factor that major seismic stress building in the region.

As seen in this graphic, the past 7 days of earthquakes in the region reveal very heavy seismic movement.  It is not a shock to see Kansas begin moving when the rest of the states in the area have already shown noteworthy earthquake activity.

3.9 m earthquake kansas march 3 2015
Above: March 3, 2015 – past 7 days of 2.5M+ earthquakes reveals the entire Southern portion of the craton being displaced. Newest 3.9M event seen in blue.  Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Alabama all experiencing earthquakes at fracking operations. Missouri, and Virginia experienced movement along the edge of the craton.


Information on the 3.8 magnitude earthquake from the USGS:


Event Location

Data Source US1

Map showing extent (w,s,e,n) = (-102.9054, 32.1973, -92.9054, 42.1973)
37.197°N 97.905°W depth=9.7 kmView interactive map

Event Time

  1. 2015-03-03 15:56:01 (UTC)
  2. 2015-03-03 09:56:01 (UTC-06:00) in your timezone
  3. Times in other timezones

Nearby Cities

  1. 12km (7mi) ENE of Anthony, Kansas
  2. 63km (39mi) SW of Haysville, Kansas
  3. 68km (42mi) SW of Derby, Kansas
  4. 74km (46mi) SW of Wichita, Kansas
  5. 195km (121mi) N of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma


Magnitude / uncertainty 3.9 mb_lg± 0.0
Location / uncertainty 37.197°N 97.905°W± 1.6 km
Depth / uncertainty 9.7 km± 3.1
Origin Time
Number of Stations
Number of Phases 40
Minimum Distance 1.11 km (0.01°)
Travel Time Residual 0.40 sec
Azimuthal Gap 55°
FE Region Kansas (480)


Tectonic Summary

Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region

Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity

“Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York – Philadelphia – Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west.

East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source.

A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California’s San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes.

Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era.

In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity

As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth’s crust sufficiently to induce faulting.

Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth’s crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations.

In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced.

Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity.

Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region.”

Back in November (4 months ago at the end of 2014) a record breaking borderline 5.0 magnitude (4.8M) earthquake struck near the same location in South Central Kansas.

As we saw with this most recent 3.9M event, the previous 4.8 magnitude struck directly at a fracking operation.

Above: Animated GIF from November 12, 2014 showing the largest Kansas earthquake in recent history

kansas fracking earthquake nov 12 2014