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Spanish earthquake caused by groundwater extraction

Investigators have said that the earthquake in the south eastern Spanish city of Lorca last year was probably caused by groundwater extraction.

Using satellite images the scientists found the quake was triggered by the rupture of a fault that had been weakened by groundwater extraction.

The investigation was led by Canada’s University of Western Ontario research fellow Pablo Gonzalez and produced the result were published in scientific journal Nature.

The magnitude 5.2 earthquake struck the city of Lorca on 11 May 2011 killing 10 people.

Researchers said the report showed how human activity can influence “how and when earthquakes occur”.

Readers' comments (1)


  • If one goes by this argument, what explanation could be given for the fact that there were no significant earthquakes in the gulf region in which vast quantities of oil and gas has been extracted over a half century or so?

    Cavities/hollows created by these extraction must have been much larger in comparison to those created by the ground water extraction in Spain!

    Also, how could we give an explanation to abundance of earth quakes in and around Sumatra in the recent past!

    MChandra/ Qatar

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