The seventh earthquake since May has rattled communities in the heart of the Barnett Shale region of North Texas, officials said Friday.

The 2.0 magnitude tremor shook the ground around 6 a.m. CDT about four miles east of Cleburne in Johnson County, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

A team from Southern Methodist University (SMU) in June deployed 10 portable seismic stations in Tarrant and Johnson counties following a series of small quakes across the region (see Daily GPI, June 15). Up to four of the seismographs were to be placed in Cleburne after city officials requested a study of the tremors.

Cleburne is near the heart of the Barnett Shale production area. Since 2001 more than 200 gas wells have been drilled within the city limits, and Johnson County has more than 1,000 gas wells. After three quakes struck Tarrant County in mid May, SMU officials decided to conduct a study.

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