Gypsum Colorado Experiences Small Earthquake
Earthquake shakes the ground southeast of Gypsum.
Earlier today an earthquake struck near Eagle County Colorado. According to the US Geological Survey, the minor quake shook the ground around Gypsum while many were still having breakfast. At 7:31 a.m., a relatively small quake, only registering 2.7 on the Richter scale, centered about three miles southeast of Gypsum. That small community sits just off of I-70 about 37 miles west of Vail. There was no reported injuries or damage.
This quake is just one of several in western Colorado within the last six months or so. The Glenwood Springs area has experienced a couple of larger quakes recently. Back in February, a 3.1 magnitude quake struck about 25 miles west of this mornings epicenter. In the early morning hours of December 11th, two earthquakes hit back-to-back only just over an hour apart. One was a 3.4 and the second a 3.6 magnitude earthquakes.
If you're thinking there are more of these events these days, you'd be right. Most are manmade. The University of Colorado scientists have been looking into the phenomena and they say most have been caused by fluids pumped deep underground during oil and gas wastewater disposal. The process is known as hydraulic fracturing.
When the oil is removed from the ground so is water. During drilling, the water, or fracking fluid, is pumped into the ground. That can cause existing faults to move to cause a fault to slide and an 'earthquake' to occur.