News & AnalysisSeismology

Human Activity May Have Triggered Fatal Italian Earthquakes, Panel Says

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Science  11 Apr 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6180, pp. 141
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6180.141

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In an as-yet-unpublished report, an international panel of geoscientists has concluded that a pair of deadly earthquakes that struck the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna in 2012 could have been triggered by the extraction of petroleum at a local oil field. Fear of humanmade seismicity has already sparked fierce opposition against new oil and gas drilling efforts in Italy, and some say the report could lead the country's regional presidents to turn down new requests for fossil-fuel exploration.

  • * Edwin Cartlidge is a science writer in Rome.

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