City's Response to North Texas Tremors

The City of Irving is working with the City of Dallas and Southern Methodist University (SMU) to study the series of minor tremors that have occurred in the area. Experts with SMU have installed 22 seismographs in Irving and Dallas to help identify the precise location of the earthquakes. Scientists say this is the first step in studying the tremors. Researchers say it will take time for them to analyze the data from their equipment and it could take months – possibly years – before they have answers. The city will continue to communicate the information we receive as we receive it.

Irving and Dallas are forming a task force to help coordinate a regional response to the earthquakes and see what measures can be taken to help educate and protect the community. In addition, the city is working with Dallas County officials on emergency management protocols.

The city is committed to communicating information and updates related to seismic activity with the community in a timely manner. Residents can find the most up-to-date information from the city on its website in the Latest News section. Residents can sign up for news alerts via email or text message with the city's Notify Me feature.

2016 News

March 28: The City of Irving has remained at the forefront of efforts to apply state resources and expertise to studying seismic issues in North Texas. Irving played a major role in convincing the state to fund equipment and a seismic study during the 2015 legislative session. That $4.5 million, appropriated to the Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) at UT Austin, is being used to coordinate information already available, place new monitoring equipment in the field and hire staff who will conduct a study for presentation to the governor and the legislature this December.

In addition, Irving City Manager Chris Hillman was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott to the committee that will oversee the seismic study, ensuring timely communication with the study team and results for residents of Irving and North Texas.

The study is likely to be the first in an ongoing series of efforts by the BEG to better understand seismic activity in Texas.

2015 News

Dec. 7: At the recent annual American Geophysical Union meeting, Southern Methodist University (SMU) scientists reported they believe the Dallas/Irving quakes have been triggered by human activity. They said they have not determined causation. The seismologists continue to study data from 11 seismometers located in Irving and Dallas.

The City of Irving continues working closely with the University of Texas Austin’s Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) as well. Last session the legislature allocated $4.47 million for the TexNet Seismic Monitoring Program, which the BEG will lead and will include seismologists from across the state. The BEG has hired staff, all of whom will be in place in early January. The seismic network is expected to be deployed soon thereafter.

Oct. 7: A group created to study seismic activity in North Texas has started its work. The Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin is hiring experts to assist with the seismic monitoring study and has started to look at purchasing seismic monitors that will be used during the study.

Last summer, the Texas Legislature approved $4.5 million in funding to the Bureau. The group was tasked with monitoring seismic activity across the state and presenting a report by 2016. Legislative funding for this study resulted in part from efforts by Irving officials, who worked with state legislators to request the state fund and study increased seismic activity in North Texas.

July 22: Southern Methodist University releases its preliminary earthquake catalog for the Irving Dallas earthquake swarm. Earthquake symbol size is scaled by magnitude and color coded by date of occurrence. Earthquakes with high location uncertainties have been removed. Current seismic sensors recording the sequence are shown as gray triangles; note that some sensors are outside of the map boundaries. The map is provided as part of the ongoing collaboration between SMU and the cities of Irving, Dallas and neighboring cities. The preliminary earthquake locations have not been published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and are subject to change.

Irving and Dallas Earthquake Map

June 5: Following a series of earthquakes in North Texas, the Irving officials traveled to Austin to request the state fund and study increased seismic activity in the area and helped to successfully secure $2 million to be used for that study.

April 15: The Irving City Council was briefed on the status of legislative initiatives regarding earthquakes in Texas. There are two bills addressing earthquakes, one of them initiated by Irving officials.

April 1: Initial results from SMU’s team reveal the recent series of earthquakes occurring near the former stadium site were relatively shallow and concentrated along a narrow two-mile line that indicates a fault extending from Irving into West Dallas.

March 2015: Bills are introduced in the state legislature addressing the recent North Texas earthquakes and studying them. Learn more

Feb. 6: A delegation of Irving officials traveled to Austin to discuss possible state financial assistance to help fund additional research into the recent series of earthquakes that has occurred in the area. The meeting included the Governor’s office, Irving's legislative representatives and representatives from the Lieutenant Governor’s office and Speaker's office.

Feb. 6: SMU researchers released their preliminary report (PDF) of findings to the city that identified the epicenter locations of these quakes. The data show the earthquake epicenters ran along the Trinity River from north Irving to west Dallas, with the majority of magnitude 3+ earthquakes occurring in Dallas, and none occurring on the former Texas Stadium site, as earlier reported.

Jan. 20: The Irving City Council hosted a Mayor-Council led Town Hall Meeting for residents and businesses at the Irving Arts Center to answer questions about the recent North Texas tremors. Attendees also viewed the Jan. 15 presentation by SMU researcher Dr. Brian Stump to the City Council.

Jan. 15: SMU researchers Dr. Brian Stump and Dr. Heather DeShon, Railroad Commission of Texas seismologist Dr. Craig Pearson, and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins address the Irving City Council meeting attendees, updating the public on what efforts are being undertaken to determine the cause of the North Texas earthquakes. View the presentations.

Jan. 12: Mayor Beth Van Duyne answered questions from residents at the Las Colinas Association's "Monday with the Mayor" event.

Jan. 7: "DART Affirms Rail Lines Sound" (KERA News)

Jan. 7: "Irving, Dallas Form Task Force" (Dallas Morning News)

Jan. 7: SMU Installs Additional Seismographs

Jan. 5: SMU Installs Seismic Equipment

Dec. 15, 2014: City Working with SMU Researchers on Tremors Cause