AUSTIN (March 29, 2014) The Texas Railroad Commission has hired a seismologist as part of an effort to tackle a sudden increase in earthquakes in areas of Texas with significant oil and gas drilling activities.
The commission, which regulates drilling statewide, announced that it had hired seismologist David Craig Pearson, a former team leader for a Los Alamos National Laboratory seismic experimental field team.
He holds a doctorate in geophysics from Southern Methodist University.
While an SMU doctoral student, Pearson was a graduate research assistant to Professor Brian Stump, who's a member of the SMU earthquake team, which is now studying North Texas seismic activity.
Pearson also is a former West Texas ranch manager and serves as vice president of the Rankin-based Upton County Water District.
Pearson will begin his duties April 1.
My objective is to develop a broad understanding of the impact of oil and gas extraction activities on the day-to-day lives of Texas residents,” Pearson said.
“I believe the Railroad Commission must be able to quickly and factually determine the accurate location of all earthquakes in the state and be able to determine the cause of earthquakes, be they natural or man-made.
“I plan to work to help clarify the root cause of earthquakes occurring by bringing all stakeholders’ concerns, questions, ideas and insights together to identify the best possible solutions,” Pearson said.