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Comment: Most likely not fracking.... (Score 3, Interesting) 288

by desertengineer (#38053022) Attached to: Did Fracking Cause Recent Oklahoma Earthquakes?
There's a lot of buzz here in Oklahoma about that. Tiring of all the media drama and emotions, and wanting a better explanation, I talked to a retired geologist friend - and she had some good data... First, the epicenters of the quakes (We've probably had a hundred total in the past few weeks) are on the Western edge of a geologic area known as the Seminole Structure. That's on the edge of a much larger discontinuity known as the Nemaha. The faults have been here for a long time, and therefore hold a good measure of energy. Second, the depths have been measured to be around 18,000 ft down. There are no wells in this area close to that depth, so the chance of fracking fluid causing it is diminished. Third, the waveforms suggest a thrust movement rather than side-slip. Fracking isn't much of a candidate there. I posed the question to her that if the chances are small injection wells caused the bigger one, would it be plausible that a smaller quake from the wells could have triggered a chain of stress relief that led to the larger one? Not likely, because if it was so easily triggered ("on edge" of being triggered), then natural processes are more probable than man-made ones to "trigger" the chain. Within hours of the first correlated events, geology researchers (and students?) from OU and OSU were on scene (West of Prague) with sensors and acoustic equipment. This is pretty much the first Oklahoma quake cluster to have that level of detailed instrumentation. Maybe they will get some good grants out of this? :)

Comment: Re:Move to military contracting if you do get out. (Score 1) 212

by desertengineer (#38019566) Attached to: With Troop Drawdown, IT Looks To Hire More Vets
Lots of ways to work that. ART = Active duty working in the NG. Years of service translate to federal years civil service. 90+ days deployment = New GI Bill + 90 days earlier drawing pay. DD214 = VRA entry. All other stuff like BX, commissary, TLF, you keep. I'll be hanging it up after 23 years soon. Nice little basket of perks. It also depends on what you did, and in a career you'll have plenty of opportunity to move into something better - if you're persistent and want it bad enough. My first avionics specialist job got me to the front of the line as a newly graduated EE. They didn't really care about the engineering degree. The fact I had crawled through airplanes as enlisted, later flew them as an officer, plus the engineering degree had them frothing. Those two jobs makes the force strong with you in certain career fields. It's all in your attitude and how much you're willing to put into it. Do well in the military, and you'll do just as well in the civilian side.

Comment: At our house in OKC (Score 1) 202

by desertengineer (#37969296) Attached to: Oklahoma Hit By Its Strongest-Ever Recorded Quake
It was bizarre. All was quiet and we were about to head to bed. Was on the couch catching up on the OSU-KSU post game. First there was the usual distant, muffled "boom". This is the usual MO for earthquakes in this area. A slight thud like someone bumping a car on the side of the house, followed by shaking for a few seconds. But it wasn't like the others... After the initial thud, the house shook vertically at a high frequency. Things rattled. Then the side-to-side motion began. The side-to-side motion was weird. Frequency of about 3 Hz, but the overall amplitude varied from low to high every three to five seconds. THAT combination of the vertical shaking and side-to-side motion continued to increase in amplitude for the next ten seconds or so and then sustained at that level for the next 45 seconds! Stuff was rattling around at that point. Furniture, the TV, and stuff on shelves were shifting and making noise. After about the 15 second mark, it got even more intense and I figured the doorway near the front door might be the best place, I moved over there. The sideways random motion continued for another 30 seconds or so before settling down. I'm not a Californian. Maybe you guys deal with this kind of thing weekly, but here in Oklahoma this is maybe once in a hundred years event. Honestly, after the first 15 seconds, the "fun" quickly waned and the concern focused on how bad this was going to tear up the house. FREAKY though. Overall the damage was minimal. Highway 62 got buckled at a few choke points and minor damage was reported at spots around the metro. I can tell you we are not earthquake fans after last night. You guys in California can have that crap.

Comment: Was a good peak but full moon didn't help (Score 1) 31

by desertengineer (#37080842) Attached to: Perseid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight
Observers are reporting a brief but intense peak between 10:00 and 15:00 UTC. Notable fireballs were seen. Here in the midwest, many locations were overcast. My radar scatter receiver recorded at least one large event every minute or so during that time, supporting other observations. There's always the Draconids in October and the Leonids in November. I think the 1,000 year old comment was either mis-quoted or misunderstood. Essentially the leftovers from the formation of the solar system, cometary material should match the estimated age of meteorites (oldest about 4.5 billion years old). But of course, how do you define "how old" something like this is? Some researchers have been able to estimate the individual orbits (or streams) that we're passing through. That may have been the source of the 1,000 year quote - e.g. this particular stream was from a Swift-Tuttle pass 1,000 years ago. Regardless, it remains the most predictable so far. Maybe a better show next year :)

Our business in life is not to succeed but to continue to fail in high spirits. -- Robert Louis Stevenson

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