Kansas Geological Survey scientist shares cause behind recent quakes

It has been a hot topic of discussion over the last few days.

Rather than waking up to an alarm, some of us woke up to an earthquake. 

"We're just sleeping. We wake up. Oh, it's another earthquake." said Joe Baggett, a Derby resident.
Baggett and his wife were woken up in their home this morning from the 4.5 quake out of Oklahoma.

"We just kind of shake around," he said. "First you kind of think it's the dogs under the bed. But, it's not."

Wichitan Michele Doll didn't feel Monday morning's episode, but she did feel a few over the weekend.
"I'm more concerned that it's going to eventually hurt the foundation of my home," said Doll. "So yeah, I'm a little concerned about that."

We've seen damage to buildings in places like central Mexico that was hit with a 7.1 quake last September. 

But, a senior scientist with the Kansas Geological Survey tells me, the largest quake in Kansas has been a 4.9.

"We've not recorded any earthquakes in Kansas that have been large enough to do structural damage to a well maintained house," said Dr. Rick Miller.

What's more common for earthquakes in Kansas...

"Your furniture moving," said Barbara Hart, a Hutchinson resident. "That creates a bit of being uncomfortable."

And some are wondering what's behind these quakes.

Miller says there are different possibilities.  

"Most all the earthquakes we're seeing, that we're calling induced are a result of saltwater disposal into a deep zone that's got contact with basement or crystalline rock faults," said Miller. 

He says it's not unusual for a few felt earthquakes to follow. But, it won't last forever. 

Miller says officials in Oklahoma are trying to lower the chances of earthquakes by reducing the regulated amount of salt water they can inject. 

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