The swarm, it seems, is still with us. Thursday, North Texas earth quaked three times. Each of the tremors struck near a two-mile line connecting Irving and West Dallas that SMU researchers Heather DeShon and Brian Stump identified in February as the start locations of numerous temblors that have inflicted itself on North Texas.
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The 5:36 p.m. quake clocked in at 3.3 on the Richter scale, making it the biggest to hit the area since the dueling 3.5 and 3.6 tremors that struck near the fault line on January 5 and 6. The 2.6 magnitude earthquake that came just after 3 a.m. was the eighth this month and the 35th of 2015. In the last year, 58 earthquakes have hit Dallas and its suburbs.
Previous North Texas earthquake swarms -- in 2008-2009 near DFW airport; 2009-2010 in Cleburne; and 2013-2014 near Azle -- have decayed after the strongest quake in the chain. In early March, Stump warned that the biggest quake in this swarm may still be on its way.
"This most recent event reminds me that we need to continue to monitor this sequence to see if it actually does decay," he told The Dallas Morning News shortly after a 3.1 magnitude quake hit near Irving on February 27.
Stump and Deshon have yet to announce any findings about the potential causes of the quakes, but they've consistently said both natural and man-made factors might be in play. Craig Pearson, the Texas Railroad Commission's in-house seismologist, has repeatedly sided with the Shiva the Destroyer camp rather than those who think that maybe, just maybe, a certain resource extraction process might have something to do with a place that basically zero seismic activity before 2008 experiencing 58 shakes in a year.