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Dec 4 / Dave Schumaker

World’s Tallest Building Responsible for Increased Seismicity?

Taipei 101A reader by the name of Lonney submitted the following news item. A geologist working for the Institute of Earth Sciences at the Academia Sinicathe has hypothesized that Taipei 101, currently the world’s tallest building, may be responsible for increased seismicity in the city of Taipei. Since its completion in 1997, there has been an increase in the amount of microearthquakes that have occurred in Taipei.

But the city has experienced more micro-earthquakes (of magnitude 2.0-2.5 on the Richter scale) since construction began on the 508 meter (1,667 foot) skyscraper in 1997, he said.

Two earthquakes of magnitude 3.8 and 3.2 occurred directly beneath Taipei 101 in October 2004 and March 2005, he said.

“There is a distinct possibility of earthquakes being triggered by the recent construction of the world’s highest building, the imposing Taipei 101,” Lin wrote in an article published in the Geophysical Research Letters Vol. 32 on Nov. 30.

Induced seismicity is not unheard of, though it is usually associated with the construction of reservoirs. Also, here is an abstract from Harvard on induced seismicity at The Geysers, California, where geothermal power is produced.

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