WASHINGTON

Study links small quakes to natural-gas injections

With real-time monitors, scientists have linked a swarm of small earthquakes west of Fort Worth, Texas, to nearby natural gas wells and wastewater injection.

In 84 days from November 2013 to January 2014, the area around Azle, Texas, shook with 27 magnitude 2 or greater earthquakes, while scientists at Southern Methodist University and the U.S. Geological Survey monitored the shaking. It’s an area that had no recorded quakes for 150 years on faults that “have been inactive for hundreds of millions of years,” said SMU geophysicist Matthew Hornbach.

When the volume of injections decreased significantly, so did the shaking.

The scientists concluded that removing saltwater from the wells in the gas production process and then injecting that wastewater back underground “represent the most likely cause” for the swarm of quakes, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications.

NEW YORK

White diamond attracts bid of $22 million at auction

A “perfect” 100-carat diamond in a classic emerald cut sold for just over $22 million at auction on Tuesday.

The internally flawless D color stone is the only classic emerald-cut white diamond of the highest color and clarity and over 100 carats to come to auction, according to Sotheby’s.

– From news service reports