The drought is lifting them thar hills

The drought is sinking the Valley, but it’s lifting the mountains, says the Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Even as groundwater pumping causes subsidence on the Valley floor, California’s mountains have risen a squidge over a half an inch, Scripps says.

“How is this possible?” asks a science writer in Salon. “We’re talking about a lot of water being lost: about 63 trillion gallons this year (picture a 3.9 inch pool of water over the entire West, or the amount being lost every year from Greenland’s melting ice sheet). Without that weight compressing Earth’s crust, the researchers explain, the ground itself appears to rise up “like an uncoiled spring.”

Science never had the technology to resister this phenomenon before. The whole Salon story here.


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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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