Fracking and earthquakes

From the website Science Daily (here).

How Shale Fracking Led to an Ohio Town’s First 100 Earthquakes

Aug. 19, 2013 — Since records began in 1776, the people of Youngstown, Ohio had never experienced an earthquake. However, from January 2011, 109 tremors were recorded and new research in Geophysical Research-Solid Earth reveals how this may be the result of shale fracking. In December 2010, Northstar 1, a well built to pump wastewater produced by fracking in the neighboring state of Pennsylvania, came online. In the year that followed seismometers in and around Youngstown recorded 109 earthquakes; the strongest being a magnitude 3.9 earthquake on December 31, 2011. The study authors analyzed the Youngstown earthquakes, finding that their onset, cessation, and even temporary dips in activity were all tied to the activity at the Northstar 1 well. The first earthquake recorded in the city occurred 13 days after pumping began, and the tremors ceased shortly after the Ohio Department of Natural Resources shut down the well in December 2011. Dips in earthquake activity correlated with Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving, as well as other periods when the injection at the well was temporarily stopped. “In recent years, waste fluid generated during the shale gas production — hydraulic fracturing, had been increasing steadily in United States. Earthquakes were triggered by these waste fluid injection at a deep well in Youngstown, Ohio during Jan. 2011 — Feb. 2012. We found that the onset of earthquakes and cessation were tied to the activity at the Northstar 1 deep injection well. The earthquakes were centered in subsurface faults near the injection well. These shocks were likely due to the increase in pressure from the deep waste water injection which caused the existing fault to slip,” said Dr. Won-Young Kim. “Throughout 2011, the earthquakes migrated from east to west down the length of the fault away from the well — indicative of the earthquakes being caused by expanding pressure front.”

Save our Schools rally – Saturday 22nd at 12 noon.

Mike Hawker is organising a rally for this Saturday to protest the recently announced school closures and amalgamations. The following is from one of the flyers.  


Public Rally

Saturday 22nd Sept at 12 noon

Hagley Netball Courts

Bring your signs, your families, your community, your spirit and show Hekia Parata, Gerry Brownlee and the John Key National led Govt we are united, standing side by side as Cantabrians to stop this.
Organiser: Wayne Hawker Contact details: 389 9802/021 234 2511 .

Changes to education in greater Christchurch

The Education and Tertiary Education Ministers have today released a draft programme to guide the renewal of the education network in greater Christchurch following the Canterbury earthquakes.

As has become increasingly common in recent years a critical piece of social policy is to be changed with just a couple of weeks available for public comment.

The intention of the programme is set out on the Ministry of Education’s website here and is to provide:

A strong education system, from early childhood to tertiary, will be critical to the redevelopment of greater Christchurch and its economy in the wake of the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

This is why the Ministry of Education and Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) have worked with the community to develop a draft Education Renewal Recovery Programme that will meet the educational needs of children and young people and support social, cultural and economic recovery.

The draft programme has been developed based on your feedback to the Shaping Education engagement process and the knowledge and expertise of educational leaders, teachers, city and business leaders and Ngai Tahu.

We invite you to read the document and provide your comments so you can be a part of confirming the Directions for Education Renewal in greater Christchurch.

The Ministry’s website gives access to the draft programme and there is a page where you can “have your say” (here).
The joint ministerial statement is here.

Private sector investment for failing schools in central and eastern Christchurch.

The Press this morning has an article on National implementing an ACT policy whereby schools that are failing can access private sector investment.

From the Press online

Failing schools in central and eastern Christchurch will be amongst the nation’s first to allow private investment, it emerged yesterday.

A newly-agreed ACT-National coalition deal will allow private investment in failing schools and introduce a cap on government spending.

Under the deal announced yesterday, community, religious or ethnic groups, or private companies, will be allowed to operate state-funded “charter” schools.

The full article is here.

Barbecue at Avonside Girls High School – with photos

Arrow, project managers for the work at the School, and the Ministry of Education hosted a barbecue this morning to which local residents were invited. It was an opportunity to see how much work had been done so far. Demolition work is almost complete and the original batch of relocatable classrooms are being prepared.

There are to be up to 25 more relocatable classrooms put on the site as the Jobberns and Gresson blocks do not meet the new earthquake standards and cannot be fixed in time for a term one opening next year. Most of the additional relocatable classrooms are to be built on site, but a few will be trucked in. The extra classrooms will provide staff facilities, science rooms, and a toilet block.

Click the link for photographs

Caterng facilities
Where the main block once stood
Finishing off at the river end of the main block
More finishing off
Relocatable classrooms along the Woodham Road side