Expert trying to determine cause of E. Texas 'quake - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Expert trying to determine cause of E. Texas 'quake

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) -

The earth's movement was quiet today in East Texas following Thursday's earthquake. The jury is still out on what may have caused it.

Dr. Wesley Brown knows a lot about earthquakes. He's got geology degrees and he's experienced numerous quakes.

"Well, I'm from Jamaica and Jamaica, we have several fault lines going through Jamaica, so we have several earthquakes and that is really one of the reasons why I became interested in studying earthquakes because of how it affected my island," said Brown, a geology professor at SFA.

Brown learned an earthquake indicates the earth is stressed out.

"Stress builds up and it breaks and then it builds up again and then it breaks," he said.

What caused the stress in East Texas is unclear. Some people are already blaming fracking.

"At this moment I am unable to say yea or nay to that," Brown said.

Long-term study is needed first, similar to research conducted in Denver. It studied the relationship of man-made injected wastewater into a well and the number of earthquakes which followed.

"The activity would cause the number (of earthquakes) to go up and halving it could cause it to be half," Brown said. "Zeroing caused it go further down and kicking it back up increases the number. Stuff like that you could use to conclude."

But other factors come into play, so scientists wait.

"It's because if it's man-made than the number will significantly increase over time," Brown said. "If it's tectonical related then it will be fairly consistent over long term."

The activity will be monitored by seismometers, including one at the SFA observatory. It's part of a global network of detectors keeping a watch on the ground beneath us.

The "go-to" place about the earthquake is the US Geological survey Website. Scientists are wanting help in tracking who felt the earthquake.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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