After a series of earthquakes has shaken a region just northwest of Morrilton over this past week, geologists and researchers continue to assess the area. Scott Ausbrooks of the Arkansas Geological Survey says his agency and the Memphis-based Center for Earthquakes Research and Information have installed an additional seismic station to follow activity in the area.
Ausbrooks says that although the cause of the temblors is likely natural, his team is looking at a possible connection with nearby injection wells, used in hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.
The US Geological Survey has recorded several small earthquakes in the Morrilton area about 50 miles west of Little Rock. The USGS reports that nine earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.5 to 2.4 between shortly before 10:30 p.m. Friday and 1:45 p.m. Saturday in the area northeast of Morrilton. Geologists say earthquakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans and that damage is not a common until an earthquake is above magnitude 4.0.