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Fed Study Says Less Shake Felt From Artificial Quakes

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

    FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

  • HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)

    HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)

  • HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)

    HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)

  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows earthquake damage in Sparks, Okla. on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011 after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • FILE - This Nov. 6, 2011 file photo shows pieces of a chimney that toppled and went through the roof after an earthquake in Sparks, Okla. Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found. People feeling the ground move from induced quakes _ those that are not natural, but triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground_ report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough. However within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)
  • HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)
  • HOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EDT AND THEREAFTER ON TUESDAY, AUG. 19, 2014 - This image provided by Twelve Books shows the cover of Rep. Paul Ryan's, R-Wis., new book. As Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown in the fall of 2013, Ryan looked around at fellow Republicans who were agitating to shutter national parks, federal agencies and Head Start programs. "This can't be the full measure of our party and our movement," Ryan writes of that moment in his new book, released Tuesday. "If it is, we're dead and the country is lost." (AP Photo/Twelve Books)

Washington — Man-made earthquakes, a side effect of some high-tech energy drilling, cause less shaking and in general are about 16 times weaker than natural earthquakes with the same magnitude, a new federal study found.

People feeling the ground move from induced quakes — those triggered by injections of wastewater deep underground— report significantly less shaking than those who experience more normal earthquakes of the same magnitude, according to a study by U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Susan Hough.

Distance matters in this shaking gap, however. For people within 6 miles of the fault, artificial and natural quakes feel pretty much the same, she said.

Hough studied similar-sized man-made and natural quakes in the central and eastern United States from 2011 to 2013, comparing the reported magnitude to what people said they felt in the USGS electronic “Did You Feel It” survey. She found that while two different types of temblors may have had the same magnitude measured by seismographs, they felt distinctly different.

The way artificial quakes felt was equivalent on average to a natural quake that had a magnitude 0.8 smaller. So a 4.8 induced quake felt like a 4.0 quake, Hough said.

The study, published Monday in the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, looked at quakes in Oklahoma, Colorado, Arkansas, Texas and Ohio.

Man-made earthquakes have become a big concern recently as fracking and other drilling injects wastewater deep underground.

Scientists say that sometimes triggers shifts along existing and previously unknown faults.