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Bureau of Economic Geology News Archive


The most comprehensive analysis to date of a series of earthquakes that included a 4.8 magnitude event in East Texas in 2012 has found it plausible that the earthquakes were caused by wastewater injection. The findings also underscore the difficulty of conclusively tying specific earthquakes to human activity using currently available subsurface data. The study,…

Although years of drought and over-pumping have significantly depleted groundwater in Arizona and California, a new study shows the situation has an upside: It has created underground reservoirs where extra surface water can be stored during wet times so it is available during drought. The study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in March,…

Bridget Scanlon, a hydrologist and senior research scientist at the University of Texas’ Bureau of Economic Geology, has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), one of the highest professional honors accorded to engineers and scientists. “I still have difficulty believing that I was elected,” Scanlon said. “I wish the process would…

You’d think scientists would be able to figure out for sure whether the rash of North Texas earthquakes in recent years has a definite link to oil and gas drilling activity, including waste injection wells. In fact, some scientists believe they have figured it out, and they say there is a link. But at least…

Researchers hope to begin locating a network of seismographs by March to help determine what’s causing the earth to move across the state, including under North Texas. Scott Tinker, director of the Texas Bureau of Economic Geology, on Tuesday said a vendor for providing the equipment has been selected and a new project director, Alex Savvaidis,…

Researchers have found that the water supply of the Colorado River basin, one of the most important sources for water in the southwestern United States, is influenced more by wet-dry periods than by human use, which has been fairly stable during the past few decades. The study, led by The University of Texas at Austin,…

Energy officials from across North America met at The University of Texas at Austin Bureau of Economic Geology Dec. 2 and 3 to discuss how the United States, Canada and Mexico can collaborate to advance carbon capture and storage, a key technology to fight climate change and produce cleaner energy. “We’re really proud to host…

U.S. should support basic research

BY KITTY L. MILLIKEN Special to the Star-Telegram Basic research into how our planet operates is an essential investment. That’s why it is alarming that the reauthorization of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act of 2007, or America COMPETES Act — passed by the U.S. House in…

Milliken: Finding the Upside of a Downturn

While not wanting to be dismissive of the current downturn in the oil and gas industry, Kitty L. Milliken – winner of AAPG’s Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award and co-recipient of the Wallace E. Pratt Memorial Award for best AAPG Bulletin article – points out that had she not been laid off during the…

The U.S. Department of Energy, which has been researching carbon dioxide storage for years, announced $12 million in new research grants this month to learn the potential of the Atlantic sea floor to sequester carbon along the U.S. East Coast and Gulf Coast. Carbon capture and storage, or CCS, is among the technologies both the…

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