By JUSTIN JUOZAPAVICIUS
TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A new study indicates that most of the larger earthquakes in Oklahoma over the past century may have been caused by industrial activity.
The paper by the U.S. Geological Survey will be published in December's Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
It suggests the uptick in earthquakes since 2009 in the central and eastern U.S. is primarily caused by human activity - namely, the injection of wastewater in deep disposal wells.
During oil and gas production, wastewater is reinjected into rock formations, and some studies have suggested that process triggers earthquakes.
On Monday, the Oklahoma Corporation Commission's oil and gas division said it issued a plan under which disposal wells within 3 miles of the center of recent earthquake activity near the town of Cushing are ceasing operations.