2016 so far: small earthquakes drive 23 percent increase in tremors

(data from USGS, Oklahoma Geological Survey)

The total number of earthquakes across Oklahoma has increased 23 percent from this time last year, though most of the quakes are very small according to USGS data.

Oklahoma started the year slowly for the total number of quakes, though now has seen a large jump in the number of quakes registering 1.9 magnitude or smaller, year-to-date.

So far in 2016, the state has seen 142 of the very small quakes. At this time in 2015, the state registered 16.

Overall, 2016 has had a total of 825 quakes compared to 2015's 671.

But 2016 has seen more large, damaging types of quakes, including a 5.1 magnitude quake, the state's third largest on record.

In 2016, there have been nine quakes 4.0 or higher, compared to just four in 2015.

The Oklahoma Corporation Commission has issued a number of directives covering thousands of square miles to oil and gas producers to pull wells back. Scientists and seismologists point to oil and gas activity for the large increase in earthquakes in the last few years.

While quakes have been a part of state history, they increased dramatically starting in 2011, breaking records in 2015 for total quakes.

Last year, we had 5,650 quakes.

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