Geoscience in Your State: Oklahoma

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Cover of Geoscience Policy State Factsheet. Image credit: AGI

What is Geoscience?

Geoscience is the study of the Earth and the complex geologic, marine, atmospheric, and hydrologic processes that sustain life and the economy. Understanding the Earth’s surface and subsurface, its resources, history, and hazards allows us to develop solutions to critical economic, environmental, health, and safety challenges.

By the numbers: Oklahoma

8,200 geoscience employees (excludes self-employed)1

1.11 billion gallons/day: total groundwater withdrawal3

$700 million: value of nonfuel mineral production in 20174

167 total disaster declarations, including 84 fire, 39 severe storm, and 22 flood disasters (1953-2017)6

$2.94 million: NSF GEO grants awarded in 201714

Your State Source for Geoscience Information

Oklahoma Geological Survey
100 E. Boyd Street, Suite N131
Norman, OK 73019
405-325-3031

Agencies Working on Geoscience Issues in oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management

The Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management (OEM) prepares for, responds to, recovers from and mitigates against disasters and emergencies. The department maintains the State Emergency Operations Center which serves as a command center for reporting emergencies and coordinating state response activities. OEM delivers service to Oklahoma cities, towns and counties through the network of more than 400 local emergency managers.

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality

The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality is to enhance the quality of life in Oklahoma and protect the health of its citizens by protecting, preserving and restoring the water, land and air of the state, thus fostering a clean, attractive, healthy, prosperous and sustainable environment.

Oklahoma Geological Survey

The Oklahoma Geological Survey is charged with investigating the state's land, water, mineral, and energy resources and disseminating the results of those investigations to promote the wise use of Oklahoma's natural resources consistent with sound environmental practices.

Oklahoma Water Resources Board

The mission of the OWRB is to protect and enhance the quality of life for Oklahomans by managing and improving the state’s water resources to ensure clean and reliable water supplies, a strong economy, and a safe and healthy environment.

State of Oklahoma Department of Mines
The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Mines (ODM) is to protect the environment of the state, to protect the health and safety of the miners and to protect the life, health, and property of the citizens who are affected through enforcement of the state mining and reclamation laws. ODM is a regulatory authority empowered to execute, enforce, and implement provisions of state and federally mandated programs in the areas of health, safety, mining, and land reclamation practices associated with surface and sub-surface mining. Additionally, ODM is charged with enforcing the mining laws of the state, including the inspection of mines for hazardous conditions, paying special attention to working conditions, safe equipment operation, proper ventilation and elimination of other hazards affecting the life and health of miners.

Case Studies & Factsheets

Cover of AGI Factsheet 2018-004 - Present Day Climate Change

Climate Science 101 Climate is the average of weather conditions over several decades.1,2 Geoscientists monitor modern climate conditions (1880 A.D. to present) in part by taking direct measurements of weather data (i.e., air temperature, rainfall and snowfall, wind speed, cloudiness, and so on...

CI_Factsheet_2017_5_drywellprograms_170906_thumb.JPG

Introduction Dry wells improve stormwater drainage and aquifer recharge by providing a fast, direct route for rainwater to drain deep into underlying sediment and rock. Dry wells are most common in the western U.S. where clay or caliche layers slow down the natural drainage of water into...

Cover of Abandoned Wells

Introduction In 2017, there were one million active oil and gas wells in the United States.1 When a well reaches the end of its productive life, or if it fails to find economic quantities of oil or gas, the well operator is required by regulators to remove all equipment and plug the well to...

Cover of Induced Seismicity from Oil and Gas Operations

Manmade Earthquakes Any activity that significantly changes the pressure on or fluid content of rocks has the potential to trigger earthquakes. This includes geothermal energy production, water storage in large reservoirs, groundwater extraction, underground injection of water for enhanced oil...

Cover of Using Produced Water

Opportunities and Concerns in Using Produced Water Produced water is natural groundwater that is extracted along with oil and gas. It is commonly salty and mixed with oil residues,1 so it must be either disposed of or treated and reused. About 2.5 billion gallons of produced water are extracted...

CI_Factsheet_2017_2_groundwater_170309_thumb.JPG

Fresh water from underground Groundwater is any water found underground in the cracks and pores in soil, sand, or rock. Groundwater provides 25% of the fresh water used in the United States.1 It is particularly important for irrigation and domestic uses in arid or remote areas, where surface...

GOLI Online Courses

GOLI Course: State Responses to Induced Earthquakes. Image courtesy of Jerry Boak.
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

The surge in recent years of earthquake activity associated with some oil and gas operations, most notably in Oklahoma, has spurred a range of actions and responses from state geoscientists and regulators. States have taken measures to monitor these earthquakes and moderate the activities that...

GOLI Course: Induced Seismicity in the Mid-Continent; Image credit: USGS
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

This course provides information about induced seismic activity in the United States, specifically in the mid-continent. It includes information on mitigation planning, the state of seismic monitoring at the state level, and the challenges in communicating the science of the issue to the public...

GOLI Course: Making Produced Water More Productive; Image credit: USGS/ Doug Duncan
Course Type: GOLI Online Course

Geoscience is essential to our understanding and management of produced water, an inevitable byproduct of oil and gas development. This course provides a scientific and regulatory background of produced water, how it is commonly disposed, what opportunities exist for the re-use of produced water...