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Can humans create earthquakes? Maybe not intentionally, but the answer is yes and here is why. If a water reservoir is built on top of an active fault line, the water may lubricate the fault and weaken the stress built up within it. This may either create a series of small earthquakes or potentially create a massive earthquake. Also, the sheer weight of the reservoir r’s water can weaken the bedrock causing it to fracture. Then the obvious concern is if the dam fails. Earthquakes can also be generated if humans inject other fluids into a fault such as sewage or chemical waste. Finally, nuclear explosions can trigger earthquakes. In fact, one way to determine if a nation has tested a nuclear bomb is by monitoring the earthquakes and energy released by the explosion.
Introduction to Physical Geography by R. Adam Dastrup is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.
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