UNL geologists apply for funding to study recent earthquake activity

ARNOLD, Neb. KNOP In the desolate Sandhills, there is no doubt that it's been a summer to remember.

"You always got the thought in your mind as to when the next one is coming," said Dell Cerny, who has lived in Arnold for 40 years. "Now we know what it is but, before it kind of caught you by surprise."

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln were mind boggled by the swarm of 20 earthquakes.

"We were really not anticipating this, we sort of thought like the one or two that happened in Broken Bow where you get maybe one or two earthquakes every year," said UNL Geology Professor Cara Burberry. "That is not exciting, and then you get this swarm and it is really fascinating."

Burberry and her team is applying for funding to study the area.

"We hope to get the money from the National Science Foundation to deploy a circle of 10 seismometers around the area and what that will do is allow us to pick up signals of either earthquakes in the swarm or earthquakes in further fields and it will give us an image of what is going on."

Researchers say even if there are no more aftershocks, the instruments can still provide data as to why the earthquakes happened.

"You can point very clearly as to some of the Oklahoma events and say that is quite obviously human activity from wastewater injection but, there is no wastewater injection in the vicinity of Arnold," Burberry said. "The nearest one is in Kansas."

If approved, the $200,000 project could get underway early next year and record data for two years.

A 4.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded on June 30th.

Burberry says there is no immediate risk to the public.