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Shortly after Lake Mead (the reservoir impounded by Hoover Dam) began to fill, local earthquakes were felt. The earthquakes reached a culmination in a magnitude 5 earthquake about a year after the reservoir had filled to 80 percent capacity. For a number of years thereafter, small local earthquakes showed a close correlation in numbers and energy release with seasonal peak loads. In due time the correlation was as close with unloading as with loading. Sometimes there was no direct correlation at all.

In recent years many instances of local earthquakes attributed to crustal unbalance have been noted. Noteworthy is...

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