Deng et al. (2010) computed the Coulomb stress change induced by the impoundment of the Zipingpu Reservoir and suggested that the reservoir could not have induced the Wenchuan earthquake. They have omitted a crucial term in calculating pore pressure. Thus the calculation of the pore pressure component of the Coulomb stress was flawed, and the conclusions derived from the calculations are unsound. In the following, I elaborate on this omission.

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Coulomb stress change includes a shear stress change Δτ and a normal stress change Δσn on the fault plane, as well as a pore pressure change term ΔP (e.g.,...

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