GPS tracks western US drought, reports uplift

GPS tracks western US drought, reports uplift

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US: Scientists using GPS technology to investigate the massive drought in western US have reported that water loss is causing an uplift in earth's crust. The water deficit of 63 trillion gallons is causing an “uplift” effect up to 15 millimeters (more than half an inch) in California’s mountains and on average four millimeters (0.15 of an inch) across the west.

A-GPS-station-in-the-Inyo-Mountains

The study was conducted by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

Agnew, a Scripps Oceanography geophysics professor said, "the GPS data can only be explained by rapid uplift of the tectonic plate upon which the western U.S. rests. However, the uplift is not likely to increase the risk of earthquakes since it has "virtually no effect on the San Andreas fault," according to the study.

Since 2000, seven western states — including California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada and Wyoming — have seen the driest 14-year period in a century.

Source: Scripps