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Lorca Murcia Earthquakes "Man Made"

Sun 21st Oct 2012
Lorca Murcia Earthquakes 'Man Made'

A report published in the Nature Geoscience Magazine has concluded that the Lorca, Murcia earthquakes of 2011, were "man made".

A research team headed by Dr Pablo Gonzalez from the University of Western Ontario in Canada has concluded that the seismic activity was caused by the result of excessive amounts of water being drawn from underground sources to feed domestic and agricultural supplies. This loss of water - according to Gonzalez - caused a stress change in the earth's crust along a known major faultline, which was enough to trigger a rupture in the rock.

The result was that in the late afternoon of the 11th of May 2011, an earthquake of 4.5 on the richter scale was followed minutes later by a quake measuring 5.2 which destroyed many historic buildings and claimed 9 lives.

Dr Gonzalez has spent months using satellite data to map the ground deformation caused by the activity before carrying out computer simulations of the fault slip. The results showed a pattern that correlated with stress changes due to loss of groundwater.

Since the 1960s, natural groundwater levels in the region had reduced by 250 metres.

The Scientist concluded that "The presented data and modelling results are consistent with a groundwater crustal unloading process, providing a reasonable explanation for the observed fault slip pattern..."

The subject of water availability and supply has always been a contentious issue for the region of Murcia, where dozens of Golf courses demand an increasing amount of water supply. The fact that the Paramount Pictures theme park at Alhama de Murcia also promises to bring an increased number of tourists to the region can only serve to place a greater strain on demand.

If the issue of groundwater extraction is allowed to go unchecked how long must we wait for the next activty ?

Background on the Lorca Earthquakes can be read by clicking the link >> HERE << .

Comment on this Story

Who Knows ? Our guess is that the responsibility would fall to a combination of the local Ayuntamiento; Regional Government; Aguas de Murcia and the National Geological Institute (IGN). Our guess is that many specific areas of responsibilty surrounding this issue will simply go unaddressed.
Tumbit - Admin - Mon, 22nd Oct 2012
Whose responsibilty is it to regulate the extraction of underground water ? - Assuming of course that it IS even regulated !
Mr Chadwick - Mon, 22nd Oct 2012

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