The California drought is responsible for increasing earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault

Groundwater depletion may explain the annual modulation of seismicity and uplift in central California.

The California drought is favorising uplift and seismicity along the San Andreas Fault.

Human-induced groundwater depletion is responsible for observed seasonality in microseismicity at Parkfield and potentially affecting long-term seismicity rates for fault systems along the San Andreas Fault.

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GPS stations such as this one, P311 in the eastern Sierra Nevada, are administered by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory. Photo: UNAVCO.

The observed uplift closely matches that predicted by a simple elastic model driven by current rates of water-storage loss within the valley. This activity may reduce the effective normal stress resolved on the adjacent San Andreas Fault, which may explain some of the annual modulation of seismicity observed in this area.

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