Oil and Earthquakes

A new study has found that oil drilling in the Huntington Beach field may have triggered the 1933 Long Beach quake, the deadliest Southern California earthquake.

“It was kind of more of a Wild West industry back a hundred years ago, and the technology wasn’t as sophisticated,” Hough said. “People would just pump oil, and in some cases the ground would subside — fairly dramatically.” That possibly changed stresses on underground rock that could have pushed earthquake faults to rupture.


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