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Distant seismic activity can trigger quakes at ‘fracking’ sites

By Sharon Begley

NEW YORK, July 11 | Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:04pm EDT

(Reuters) – Powerful earthquakes thousands of miles (km) away can trigger swarms of minor quakes near wastewater-injection wells like those used in oil and gas recovery, scientists reported on Thursday, sometimes followed months later by quakes big enough to destroy buildings.

The discovery, published in the journal Science by one of the world’s leading seismology labs, threatens to make hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which involves injecting fluid deep underground, even more controversial.

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