TTU assistant professor: Analyzing data from West Texas earthquakes may help scientists identify possible trends

Updated: Feb. 21, 2020 at 6:25 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A professor at Texas Tech says analyzing data from West Texas earthquakes earlier this week may help scientists determine if there is a trend in this region.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported two earthquakes in Mentone, a city in far West Texas in between Odessa and El Paso.

The first was a magnitude of 3.2 and the second, 3.9. No damage was reported.

Dr. Ting Lin, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University, has done extensive research in earthquake science.

“2018 we got some minor earthquakes around this area, and then very recently, three days earlier, we got some activity here too,” Lin said.

She said it is still too soon to tell the cause of the earthquakes this week, but she said looking at the data may help scientists determine if there is a trend in West Texas.

“They kind of look at a little bit of the activities, recent observations, and see whether there is any linkage between that seismic activity and other activities going on in this region,” Lin said.

Lin said earthquakes can be either natural- caused by a fault zone, or because of induced seismic activity.

Lin said the earthquakes experienced in Mentone were relatively small.

“On the scale of upper three and lower four,” Lin said.

Lin said you cannot always predict an earthquake.

“Rather than being worried, perhaps being prepared is the best way,” Lin said.

Lin said there are multiple resources to help you be prepared for an earthquake, including the U.S. Geological Survey and Shake Out. You can find more information at:

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