Spanish quake linked to groundwater pumping

Spanish quake linked to groundwater pumping

Draining aquifers probably triggered deadly 2011 tremor

By Alexandra Witze, 16:13 PM October 19, 2012

Farmers and other residents pumping groundwater from Earth’s crust probably triggered an earthquake that killed nine people last year in southeastern Spain, scientists have found.

Sucking up water for decades would have unloaded stresses within the ground and hastened a quake that was likely to happen anyway, says Pablo Gonz├ílez, a geologist at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. 

“Even without the groundwater extraction, the earthquake was overdue,” he says. But human activit...

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