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China – Could Man Made Reservoirs and Dams Be Causing Earthquakes?


The Three Gorges reservoir area in Yichang, central China’s Hubei Province on Oct. 30, 2012. A 2011 Chinese study revealed the dam increased seismicity in the area by 30-fold. Some scientists are concerned the recent and 2008 quakes in Sichuan Province were caused by nearby dams. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)


Experts have been debating whether China’s man-made reservoirs may have partly caused the magnitude-7.0 temblor in Sichuan Province on Saturday, as well as the magnitude-8 event in 2008.

Fan Xiao of the Sichuan Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resourcestold the Global Times that a dam over 100 meters tall with over 1 billion cubic meters of water has a 30-40 percent chance of causing a quake. The Pubugou reservoir, located 80 miles from Lushan County where Saturday’s quake took place, is much bigger than that at 186 meters tall with 5.39 billion cubic meters of water.

“The large reservoirs built on the fault line can induce earthquakes, as the huge amount of water adds huge pressure to the fracture,” Fan added.

This issue is causing concern because there are more dams in China than in the rest of the world put together, and they could be increasing seismic activity, known as Reservoir-Induced Seismicity.

Many rivers naturally flow along fault lines, and the Communist Party has plans to build a lot more dams in these rivers over the coming years, such as in the Tibetan Plateau.

A 2011 Chinese study revealed that the Three Gorges Dam triggered about 3,000 earthquakes, as well as – READ MORE HERE:


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This entry was posted on April 26, 2013 by in General News Stories.