“April showers bring May flowers”?but do they also bring earthquakes? There seemed to be no connection to these two phenomena?until now.

In New Scientist, Michael Reilly report on the research of Lizet Christiansen, who works for the US Geological Survey. She analyzed over five thousand low to medium-strength earthquakes that occurred from 1984 to 2005 along the San Andreas fault and found that they INCREASED from August to January, about five months after the rains stopped.

In her earlier studies, Christiansen found season trends in volcanoes and wanted to see if this was the case with earthquakes as well. She thinks it all has to do with how the rainwater penetrates the rock, raising the water table below it. This exerts pressure on the faults that lie deep within the earth’s crust and this can trigger an earthquake. This hasn’t been noticed before because it doesn’t happen right away, since it takes time for the water to make its way down to the lower levels where it can affect the faults.

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