Category Archives: Oklahoma

Oklahoma earthquake, 7 December 2013 near Oklahoma City, OK – plus aftershocks

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake hit near Edmond, Oklahoma (just north of Oklahoma City) at 12:10 p.m. local time on 7 December 2013. The “did you feel it” map is from the USGS:


In addition, on 8 December 2013 there were several aftershocks, including a magnitude 3.1 quake just after midnight local time.

Previously: Oklahoma earthquakes, November 5-7 2011 and historical

Reuters has a good overview of the Oklahoma earthquake situation in a November 11, 2013 article by Carey Gillam. Quakes are up sharply in recent years, and the ongoing concern is that they are related to the fracking (hydraulic fracturing) techniques used in the oil and gas industry. From Reuters: “In Oklahoma, water, fracking – and a swarm of quakes”

Seismologist Austin Holland wants to start an earthquake.

From his office a few feet below the earth’s surface – a basement at the University of Oklahoma in Norman – Holland, who tracks quakes for the Oklahoma Geological Survey, is digging into a complex riddle: Is a dramatic rise in the size and number of quakes in his state related to oil and gas production activity? And, if so, what can be done to stop it?

As part of his wide-ranging research, Holland is proposing to inject pressurized water into porous rock in an area already known to be earthquake-prone, to see whether injections of oil industry wastewater are contributing to a “swarm” of earthquakes rocking the state.

Many more details are at the Oklahoma Geological Survey. Follow along in real time on the Twitter hashtag #okquake.


University of Michigan softball team in severe weather in Oklahoma City on May 31, 2013

The University of Michigan softball team is in Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series games. They were caught in the May 31, 2013 tornadoes in that area. The team, along with other teams in the games took shelter in an underground parking garage.

News coverage: WXYZ/AP.

I’m listening to the local NBC affiliate, KFOR, which is doing live coverage of the Oklahoma City tornadoes (plural).

I’m following Greg Garno who is with the team reporting for the Michigan Daily.

Here’s a snapshot of the weather map, note multiple tornado cells (purple triangles) on the radar.


Here’s preliminary tornado track maps.

2013 Moore Oklahoma tornado path map

This map from the National Weather Service in Norman, Oklahoma (via Atlantic Cities) shows the destructive path of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of 20 May 2013. This is a preliminary map that also shows the track of a 3 May 1999 tornado that followed a very similar path.


There's too much graphic, devastating imagery from the scene which I won't include here. Dr Jeff Masters has an excellent overview of the meteorology of the event, including accounts of debris being thrown 100 miles in the air to land on Tulsa, Oklahoma.

UPDATE: The National Environmental Visualization Laboratory has this image of radar rotational velocity across the storms of that day, showing tornadic activity in darker colors. (Credit: NOAA)

UPDATE: The Google Crisis Map for 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes includes a track of the tornado plus shelter information and links to other local resources. I've included a snapshot from Tuesday evening, May 21, 2013.


UPDATE: A second National Weather Service map shows the detail of where the tornado was at its maximum intensity. (Credit: National Weather Service, Norman OK, via Facebook)

UPDATE: The New York Times has a detailed tornado track map for the Moore, Oklahoma tornado. I've excerpted a piece of it here by way of illustration. Their article also has before and after aerial photos of the damage.



Oklahoma earthquakes, November 5-7 2011 and historical

ANN ARBOR USA, November 5-7, 2011 (Vacuum News) – There were a series of earthquakes in Lincoln County, Oklahoma, but we didn’t feel them here in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Some maps and news from people who did feel the quakes follow. The data here are preliminary, and you’ll want to go to the USGS page for the Oklahoma quake for details, and Oklahoma earthquake history to figure out how normal this is. The Oklahoma Geological Survey is likely to also have excellent data.

News coverage from the New York Times quotes Austin Holland, a research seismologist with the Oklahoma Geological Survey; Don Blakeman, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center; and Justin Reese, who runs the Boomarang Diner in Chandler, Oklahoma.

The earthquake, originally reported at magnitude 5.2 and then upgraded to 5.6, was said to be felt [as far away as Milwaukee] – a claim which is being tested and that I haven’t confirmed. Additional aftershocks were reported; the map is by Dawn Endico using the Google Maps API. Earthquake data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey on Mon, 07 Nov 2011 01:14:04 GMT.


Damage to homes in the area has been reported to the Lincoln County Emergency Management system on Facebook.

A map, from USGS – did you feel it?


Another map, this one showing historical patterns; the red marks are quakes. The source document gives more seismic data.


This ESPN football reporter covers the story live, though it’s hard to know that it’s not a story from the Onion News Network.

[Vacuum News] is a production of Edward Vielmetti. “Most men are engaged in business the greater part of their lives, because the soul abhors a vacuum, and they have not discovered any continuous employment for man’s nobler faculties.” Thoreau