Asia Quake Impacts Va. Well-Water Levels
Sat Jan 8,10:21 PM ET
RICHMOND, Va. - The South Asian earthquake that spawned deadly tsunami waves also shifted water levels by at least 3 feet in a geologically sensitive Virginia well some 9,600 miles away from the epicenter, researchers say.
The well near Christiansburg, which started oscillating about an hour after the magnitude 9 quake near Sumatra on Dec. 26, is particularly sensitive to movements in the Earth and is monitored by the U.S. Geological Survey (news - web sites).
David Nelms, a groundwater specialist with the USGS (news - web sites) in Richmond, saw the changes from his computer.
"It just shot up and then it went down below where it originally was," Nelms told the Richmond Times-Dispatch for Saturday's editions, adding that it took about five hours for the water to stop fluctuating.
The USGS tracks water levels around the country, and has monitors at 21 wells across Virginia, primarily for drought.
The Christiansburg well, in the western part of the state, also shows regular, but small, changes caused by tides.
On the Net:
USGS water monitor: http://va.water.usgs.gov