McVey Insurance

Get Social With Us

Depletion of Central Valley’s groundwater may be causing earthquakes

McVey Insurance, CA, GroundwaterFor years, scientists have wondered about the forces that keep pushing up California’s mighty Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges, causing an increase in the number of earthquakes in one part of Central California.

On Wednesday, a group of scientists offered a new, intriguing theory: The quakes are triggered in part by the pumping of groundwater in the Central Valley, which produces crops that feed the nation.

“These results suggest that human activity may give rise to a gradual increase in the rate of earthquake occurrence,” said the study published in the journal Nature.

Using new GPS data, the scientists found that mountains closest to California’s thirsty Central Valley were growing at a faster-than-expected rate compared to nearby ranges. The growth spurt — about 1 to 3 millimeters a year — was enough to lift them by half a foot over the last 150 years.

Groundwater is very heavy, and its weight depresses the Earth’s upper crust. Remove the weight, and the crust springs upward — and that change in pressure can trigger more small earthquakes, the researchers said.

“It reduces the forces that are keeping the fault clamped together — leading to more small earthquakes during dry periods of time,” said Colin B. Amos, assistant professor of geology at Western Washington University, the study’s lead author.

Other scientists studying a seismically active area of southern Monterey County near Parkfield observed that there tend to be more earthquakes during dry months than during wet months. The number of earthquakes there every year has roughly doubled between 1984 and 2005.

“During wet periods of time when the fault is loaded down, the forces that are keeping the fault clamped down are greater. It inhibits the sliding of the fault,” Amos said.

But the question as to why earthquakes have been increasing in Parkfield over time has been a mystery. The groundwater theory introduced by Amos and his colleagues gives one possible answer.

“Over the long term, because we’re losing more groundwater, it could give rise to more seismicity by reducing these overall forces,” Amos said.

Groundwater has been slowly depleted in the Central Valley to quench the thirst of farms and cities since the mid-1800s.

Read the entire article here.

Content provided by http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-quake-water-20140515-story.html?track=lat-email-healthreport

McVey Insurance

Since 1959, McVey Insurance has been serving California’s Central Valley, we are a leader in Personal, Commercial and Life Insurance products.

Are you a business owner looking for competitive insurance? Whether you’re looking for workers compensation insurance, commercial auto coverage, general liability or professional liability for your business, McVey Insurance is committed to finding you affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage, never compromising on protection or quality.  

Are you looking for personal insurance?  Our strong relationships that we have developed with our carriers will help you the valuable protection you need whether it be life insurance, a personal automobile policy, or health insurance in Central California, our experienced agents will take care of you.

If you are a Happy Customer, we would love to hear from you!

McVey Insurance

1231 8th Street Suite 100

Modesto, CA 95354

Office: 209-577-0177  

Fax: 209-577-0288

Website | Facebook | Email | LinkedIn | Happy Customer

Share

Tagged , , , , , ,

Related Posts

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*


+ 7 = 10

McVey Insurance
Contact us!

1231 8th Street Suite 100
Modesto, CA 95354
Office: 209-577-0177  
Fax: 209-577-0288
www.mcveyinsurance.com
Lic#0821827

McVey Testimonials
I’ve been working with James for about 3 years. He has always gone above and beyond to ensure I have the coverage I need at the best possible price. I don’t have to worry about anything, he handles it all. I’ve had several claims where I felt like he was representing me, not an insurance company. If you haven’t talked to him…You should. Thanks James. Bear W. Modesto, CA
Follow Us!
Borrowed images and
content properly cited.


Powered By Transformer Marketing