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March 28 2013

Largest Oklahoma Earthquake Linked to Oil Extraction Wastewater


The largest-ever recorded quake in Oklahoma was caused by the injection of wastewater, a byproduct of oil extraction, into the ground, new research confirms.

On Nov. 6, 2011, a series of earthquakes, including a 5.6-magnitude temblor, struck the rural town of Prague, about 37 miles (60 kilometers) east of Oklahoma City, crumbling homes in the area and damaging a federal highway. The quake could be felt as far away as Milwaukee.

"We don't normally feel earthquakes, it was shocking," said study co-author Katie Keranen, a seismologist at Oklahoma University.

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