Tiny earthquakes may follow groundwater loss

Draining California’s aquifers may stress San Andreas Fault

By Meghan Rosen, 13:41 PM May 14, 2014

Sucking out groundwater could be moving and shaking California.

As humans drain aquifers in the state’s Central Valley, the land — free of water weight — flexes upward, lifting the surrounding mountain ranges and possibly triggering tiny earthquakes, researchers suggest May 14 in Nature.

It’s the first time scientists have linked the region’s extensive groundwater pumping to mountain uplift and seismic activity, says geophysicist Kristy Tiampo of the University of Western Ontario in London, Can...

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