Dams and Earthquakes

Operation, monitoring and decommissioning of large dams in India

(December 1999) Large dams can trigger earthquakes. The first observation of possible RIS was noted for Algeria’s Quedd Fodda Dam in 1932; the first extensive study of the correlation between increased earthquake activity and variations in reservoir depth was made in the 1940s for Hoover Dam. Today there is evidence linking earth tremors and reservoir operation for more than 70 dams. Reservoirs are believed to have induced five out of the nine earthquakes on the Indian peninsula in the 1980s which were strong enough to cause damage.

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Dr V.P. Jauhari, Environment, Forests, Science & Technology, Department; Andhra Pradesh State; India. Prepared for Thematic Review IV.5:Operation, Monitoring and Decommissioning of Dams, December 1999

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