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Are Earthquakes Linked To Drought?

KPBS Evening Edition

Are Earthquakes Linked To Drought?

Aired 8/25/14 on KPBS Midday Edition.

Drought And Earthquakes - Are They Linked?


Adrian Borsa, Ph.D., researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego

Randy Hanson, senior researcher, US Geological Survey


This weekend, Northern California was rattled by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake. That had nothing to do with the drought, right? Actually, a possible increase in seismic activity is one of the things that can result from the massive loss of groundwater we've seen since the western drought began.

The loss of an estimated 63 trillion gallons of water in West, most of it groundwater, was reported in a study done by researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The loss of the water has caused the ground to actually rise more than a half-inch in California's mountains.

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