OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma has become no stranger to earthquakes.
The shaking often catches many off guard, so the Oklahoma Geological Survey is working with partners as far as Israel to get the ball rolling on a new early warning alert system.
The new system is still in the early stages, but it would alert Oklahomans before they feel the shake of an earthquake.
“We maintain a seismic network. These are stations that record waves in the earth. And then we’re able to locate and identify how big an earthquake is. And we stream that directly online where anybody can access in the public,” said Nicholas Hayman, Oklahoma Geological Survey.
Nicholas Hayman with the Oklahoma Geological Survey said the new early warning technology that was developed by Tel Aviv-based Seismic AI would be added to the detection system (seismometers) that are already set in place across Oklahoma.
“By having a network that lets you feel and understand the earthquakes that are being felt, then the industry can better adjust and make strategies,” said Hayman.
When an earthquake happens, there are two waves.
The first wave is called a primary wave. The secondary wave comes after the initial wave. The secondary wave is what you feel when an earthquake strikes the ground.
The new technology would alert Oklahomans of the primary wave so you have time to prepare before the secondary wave hits.
Matt Skinner with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission said “Earthquakes of 3.0 magnitude and higher have gone down 96% since 2015.”
Most of those have been connected to fracking.
“Seismicity in Oklahoma is down because of this remarkable joint effort that was put in place years ago. And its yielding fruit between the industry; the oil and gas operators, Oklahoma Geological Survey and other scientific organizations… Putting in measures to try to reduce the chances of an induced seismicity event. And that’s why we’ve seen a drop in earthquakes,” said Matt Skinner, Oklahoma Corporation Commission.
Although the technology and knowledge of earthquakes continue to advance in Oklahoma, Skinner said we’re still not out of the woods yet, but any new technology would continue to move Oklahoma in the right direction.
“We still have earthquake activity that is linked to induced seismicity. So, it’s a constant learning process. We’re constantly going to new technologies, new techniques. We’ve already changed some of our protocols multiple times as we learn more and more. So, while we certainly have made considerable progress, we’re not we’re not there yet,” said Skinner.
The team is still working out how they’ll get alerts out to the public.
The Oklahoma Geological Survey hopes to implement the early warning technology across the 80 in-ground systems across the State before the end of the year.