Researchers: As Much As 80% Chance Of 5.0 Quake In Oklahoma In 2017

Monday, August 21st 2017, 5:59 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

Oklahoma could see another big earthquake by the end of the year. In a recent publication, some seismologists, say they believe there's as much as an 80 percent chance there will be a 5.0-magnitude earthquake still to come in 2017.

The publication in the journal Science Advances disputes research from Stanford study earlier this year.

The Stanford study predicted there was only a 37 percent chance of an earthquake 5.0-magnitude or larger in 2017. The authors of the latest publication, which include seismologists from the Oklahoma Geological Survey, argue "the probability of exceeding a magnitude 5 event in 2017 may be as high as 80 percent."

“Eighty percent seems high to me but that’s a gut feeling not a scientific conclusion,” said Jeremy Boak with the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Boak, who heads up the Oklahoma Geological Survey, said the number of smaller earthquakes has fallen to about half of what they were last year. However, he thinks that hasn't been significant enough to dramatically decrease the probability of a larger quake.

While it's now up to scientific debate what the odds of having another big earthquake are, Boak said they do know for sure there are faults capable of producing them.

“They tend to be smaller, those ones that are favorably oriented. But they’re big enough to cause a fairly big sized earthquake,” Boak said.