6 Earthquakes in Greece Caused by Human Activity

Geologists have tracked down hundreds of quakes worldwide caused by people and the projects that set them off.

From mining projects to oil and gas operations, human activity has set off earthquakes around the world and in many geological settings.

The Human-Induced Earthquake Database, or HiQuake, contains 728 examples of earthquakes (or sequences of earthquakes), that may have been set off by humans over the past 149 years.

Most of them were small, and between magnitudes of 3 and 4, but the list also includes several large, destructive earthquakes, such as those with a magnitude-7.8 quake in Nepal in April 2015, which one paper linked to groundwater pumping.

HiQuake includes 6 earthquakes that hit Greece in last decades:

Marathon (1938 – 5.7 Richter scale),

Kremaston Aitoloakarnania-Evritania (1966 – 6.2 Richter scale),

Kastraki Aitoloakarnania-Acheloos (1969- Richter scale),

Pournari Arta-Arachthos (1981 – 5.6 Richter scale) and (1984 – 5.4 Richter scale)

Polyfyto Kozanis-Aliakmonas (1995 – 6.5 Richter scale) which was the most powerful man-made earthquake in Greece.

Miles Wilson, a hydrogeologist at Durham University, UK and his colleagues, describe the database in a paper set to be published on October 4 in Seismological Research Letters.

The scientists say that HiQuake is the biggest, most up-to-date public listing of human-caused quakes ever made.

By bringing the data together in this way, they hope to highlight how diverse induced quakes can be — and help society to understand and manage future risks.