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UC San Diego
Western drought causes Earth's surface to rise as water levels drop
Western drought causes Earth's surface to rise as water levels drop

A year and a half of drought has depleted 63 trillion gallons of water across the Western United States, according to a new study that documents how the parched conditions are altering the landscape. The loss of groundwater, as well as surface water such as reservoirs, has been so extreme that it lifted the West an average of one-sixth of an inch since 2013, according to researchers from UC San Diego's Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the U.S. Geological Survey. The situation is even worse underneath the snow-starved mountains of California, where the Earth rose up three-fifths of an inch. Groundwater is very heavy, and its weight depresses the Earth's upper crust....

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