Water Wells as Possible Indicators of Tectonic Strain

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Science  15 Aug 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4202, pp. 553-555
DOI: 10.1126/science.189.4202.553


Coseismic water level changes associated with the Izu-Hanto-oki earthquake of 9 May 1974 were recorded in 59 among 95 observation wells located in the districts of Tokai and Kanto, Japan. The spatial distribution of wells in which the groundwater level rose or fell is rather systematic. The areas in which these wells are located closely coincide with the areas of contraction and dilatation expected by the faulting. This strongly suggests a possible correlation between the observed changes in groundwater level and the tectonic strain. The results may indicate that the water level of wells is able to monitor at least acute coseismic strain changes.