University of Texas at Austin Claims the Most Advanced State-Run Earthquake Monitoring System
Scientific studies have established a strong link between a rash of earthquakes across Texas and new oil- and gas-related drilling techniques, and now the Lone Star State is equipped with one of the most cutting-edge methods in the country to measure and track seismic activity.
The University of Texas at Austin's state-funded earthquake monitoring system is called TexNet and is priced at about $4.7 million. The system was formed in 2015 and uses 22 permanent monitoring stations and 40 portable monitoring stations to track the Texas tremors.
The University recently unveiled a new online map -- using TexNet data -- that gives Texans accurate earthquake information and allows users to track quakes across the state in real time.
The online map pinpoints the location of every earthquake that was at least 1.5-magnitude since January, and there’s also a link for users who felt an earthquake to report it to the federal United States Geological Survey. Quakes that fall below the 1.5-magnitude threshold are still listed in TexNet’s full catalog, which can be downloaded from the site.
Using this data it has shown a connection between oil drilling and an increase in quakes in those particular areas. Research has shown that oil and gas activity is responsible for the majority of Texas's recent earthquakes.
Needless to say, the new online map will help a lot in understanding earthquake patterns across Texas, even if one pattern—a connection between oil and gas activities and quakes—already seems abundantly clear.