All Fracked Up

Last week a new study revealed that the injection of wastewater from oil drilling and fracking may contribute to earthquakes. Put simply, the theory is that the wastewater injected into the ground lubricates fault lines. And when sufficiently lubricated, the resistance between sides of the fault vanishes and an earthquake is triggered to release the tension in the fault line.

Mother Jones used an animated .gif to explain just how the process of fracking works, specifically to show the wasterwater portion. I chose this piece because it is the first .gif that I have seen attempting to use the looping animation to convey information or a story, especially as an infographic. Make sure to click the image to go the Mother Jones’ article for the animated version.

Step 2 of the graphic
Step 2 of the graphic

Credit for the piece goes to Leanne Kroll and Brett Brownell.

Author: Brendan Barry

I am a graphic designer who focuses on information design. My day job? I am the data visualisation manager for the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. (This blog is my something I do on my own time and does not represent the views of the Fed, blah blah blah legal stuff.) And with my main interest in information design—be it in the shape of clear charts, maps, diagrams, or wayfinding systems—I am fortunate that my day job focuses on data visualisation. Outside of work, I try to stay busy with personal design work. Away from the world of design, I enjoy cooking and reading and am interested in various subjects from history and geography to politics to science to the arts. And I allow all of them to influence my work.

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