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But, what about the simple weight of water?
Groundwater is very heavy, and its weight depresses the Earth's upper crust. Remove the weight, and the crust springs upward — and that change in pressure can trigger more small earthquakes, the researchers said "It reduces the forces that are keeping the fault clamped together — leading to more small earthquakes during dry periods of time," said Colin B. Amos, assistant professor of geology at Western Washington University, the study's lead author.