Tags: 63-trillion-gallon | groundwater | loss

63-Trillion-Gallon Groundwater Loss Causes Land to Rise in West

Image: 63-Trillion-Gallon Groundwater Loss Causes Land to Rise in West
Boaters launch their boats hundreds of yards away from designated boat ramps at Folsom Lake on August 19, 2014 in Folsom, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 22 Aug 2014 07:59 AM

The loss of 63 trillion gallons of groundwater across the West due to drought in the past year and a half has made the ground rise, a new study found.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the water loss — incurred over the last 18 months — is equivalent to 4 inches of water loss across the entire region west of the Rocky Mountains.

Regarding the earth's crust, the researchers found that it has risen, on average, 0.15 inches over the last two years, with the most dramatic increase found in the California mountains, many of which have risen over half an inch.

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"We found that it’s most severe in California, particularly in the Sierras," said coauthor Duncan Agnew, professor of geophysics at UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography. "It’s predominantly in the Coast Ranges and the Sierras showing the most uplift, and hence, that’s where we believe is the largest water loss."

Agnew explained that water weight depresses ground elevation. When the water disappears, the ground springs upward. Mountains, it turns out, are some of the greatest repositories of water in North America.

The team made their discoveries using data gathered from GPS stations that are primarily used to predict earthquakes.

The researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, published their findings in the journal Science on Thursday. Overall, it was a rather dry report.

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The loss of 63 trillion gallons of groundwater across the West due to drought in the past year and a half has made the ground rise, a new study found.
63-trillion-gallon, groundwater, loss
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2014-59-22
Friday, 22 Aug 2014 07:59 AM
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