Could COSO Geothermal Project be cause of earthquake in Ridgecrest - China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station today?

With current proof that geothermal power plants can trigger earth quakes, is it likely that the COSO Geothermal Project in the Searles Lake area could have been a contributing factor to the 6.4 earthquake in the China Lake Naval Air Station area today 7/4/2019?

2 Answers

  • paul h
    Lv 7
    1 year ago
    Favourite answer

    Based on some reports, it does not seem related or principle cause since geothermal plants have been in the area for decades with no exact relationship established. Earthquake swarms are common in the volcanic area of Coso and others. Still it may be somewhat related anytime you alter the geology or inject water into areas as has been found in other sites. The Korean article in your link showed that some geothermal plants that use high pressure water injection can cause quakes much like fracking for natural gas wells has done in some areas as well.

    "When asked about the possibility that geothermal energy production activities may have contributed to the quake, Jones stated that if you are changing water pressure and pumping water deep into the earth, it is possible to increase the rate of earthquakes. However, she was quick to make the point that geothermal production has been going on in the area for many decades, and there is no evidence or reason to think that those types of activities contributed to these seismic events. “It would be a negligible contribution, because there hasn’t been a significant change in the pumping. Back in the early 1980s, there were lots of earthquakes in this region, and through the 1980s, and then it went down into a quieter period. When there was a lot of geothermal production going on, it went into a pretty quiet period.” Jones attributed concerns about the relationship of geothermal energy production and earthquakes to our natural human desires to find predictive patterns to earthquakes. She emphasized that earthquakes are inherently random events."

  • Anonymous
    1 year ago

    not likely according to the scientists they interviewed at Caltech this morning

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