Oklahoma Geological Survey Hires New Seismologist

The Oklahoma Geological Survey has announced the hiring of a new state seismologist to help study the increase in earthquakes linked to oil and gas wastewater disposal.

Survey Director Jeremy Boak announced Friday that Jacob Walter will assume the post in November. Walter is a research associate at the Institute for Geophysics at the University of Texas. His research interests include tectonic tremor and slow slip; earthquakes; and seismic triggering of earthquakes.

Oklahoma has seen a dramatic increase in seismic activity in recent years, including a 5.8-magnitude quake on Sept. 3 that was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded in the state. It shook several states, including nearby Kansas, Missouri and Arkansas.

Scientists have linked the quakes to the underground disposal of wastewater from oil and natural gas production.