China's Dams

Could dams be causing China’s earthquakes?

(April 24, 2013) Another article exploring the brewing debate over the cause or causes of the April 20 Lushan earthquake reports that the quake may have been an aftershock of Sichuan’s 2008 earthquake disaster, which some experts believe was triggered by the Zipingpu Dam reservoir. This issue of “reservoir-induced seismicity” is fast gaining attention as China, the most dammed nation in the world, is particularly at risk to the phenomenon. A 2011 Chinese study, for example, found China’s massive Three Gorges Dam had triggered around 3,000 earthquakes and numerous landslides in the reservoir region, representing a 30-fold increase in seismic activity in the area.

By Sally Appert for the Epoch Times, April 24, 2013

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 Resources told 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 earthquake. 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.

Continue reading this story at the publisher’s website here.

Read more on this:

Chinese media investigates dam link to latest earthquake

Deadly earthquake in China may be aftershock of 2008 Wenchuan quake

On alert: RIS risk amid rash of earthquakes in China’s Sichuan-Yunnan region

Chinese study reveals Three Gorges Dam triggered 3,000 earthquakes, numerous landslides

Fan Xiao: Did the Zipingpu Dam Trigger China’s 2008 Earthquake? —The Scientific Case

Feverish Chinese dam building could trigger tsunami

A new threat to safety along the Yangtze River

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