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Arkansas Is Shaking: 50+ Earthquakes In Past Week; 700+ In Last Six Months

Feb 18, 2011

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Reported by

Mark Memmott

There was a 3.2-magnitude earthquake at 6:18 a.m. local time this morning near Greenbrier, Ark., the U.S. Geological Survey reports. That's in the north central part of the state.

But that's hardly the whole story.

Since Sunday, USGS says, there have been more than 50 earthquakes in that area. And, local station KATV reported yesterday, there have been more than 700 in the past six months.

The Associated Press reports that:

"Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, said the quakes are part of what is now called the Guy earthquake swarm — a series of mild earthquakes that have been occurring periodically since 2009. A similar swarm occurred in the early 1980s when a series of quakes hit Enola, Ark.

"Ausbrooks said geologists are still trying to discover the exact cause of the recent seismic activity but have identified two possibilities.

" 'It could just be a naturally occurring swarm like the Enola swarm, or it could be related to ongoing natural gas exploration in the area,' he said."

There's been a lot of nature-related news from Arkansas recently, particularly those mysterious bird and fish kills.

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