Did you feel the earthquake? What about fracking?
Locally, some people wondered whether this event could be connected in any way to hydraulic fracturing.
Lohman said, “There’s not any reason right now to draw that sort of conclusion. I think you’re right that people are going to look at that just because the stakes are so high. But these earthquakes have occurred for a long time. There was a similar one almost in the same place where this earthquake was in 1897. So we know that they happened long before we did hydrofracturing.
“When we do anything to the earth such as mining coal, making dams, anything where we’re moving mass from one spot to another, we do cause earthquakes; that’s been observed for a long time. But they’re very, very small, and they’re restricted to a very small area. In California, for instance, there’s a lot of extraction of oil and ground water, and there are earthquakes associated with each of those, but it hasn’t resulted in the sort of thing that we saw in Virginia.”