L.A. moves, but not in the way expected

11:57am, August 22, 2001

Researchers monitoring small ground motions along faults in Southern California

ended up detecting an altogether different phenomenon: the rise and fall of the

ground as local governments pump billions of gallons of water into and out of the

region's aquifers.

In some spots–particularly in the 40-kilometer-long Santa Ana basin, southeast of

Los Angeles–the ground rises and falls up to 11 centimeters over the course of a

year. This periodic movement, which the scientists say isn't linked to Southern

California's earthquake activity, hasn't been measured before, says Gerald W.

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