A crippling drought in the western United States has lifted the Earth's crust by nearly a sixth of an inch in that region and just over half an inch in California's mountains.
The loss of 63 trillion gallons of groundwater—enough to cover the United States, west of the Rocky Mountains, in four inches of water—caused the shift.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducted the research by taking measurement using GPS stations across the western United States.
The entire western U.S. has faced a severe drought over the past year and a half, with California hit particularly hard. The Los Angeles Times writes that 2013 was the state's driest in at least 119 years.
Things are pretty bad over at the nation's largest reservoir, Lake Mead, too. This report from KGET shows what locals call "the bathtub line," which is where the lake's water line used to be.
Scientists also say that even though this drought has caused tectonic plates underneath the region to rise, it does not increase the chance for earthquakes.
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