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Is this the reason there are so many earthquakes in Kershaw County?

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources released a report explaining how water might be playing a role in keeping earthquakes going

KERSHAW COUNTY, S.C. — A group of local seismologists thinks they may have narrowed down the cause of recent earthquakes in Kershaw County to the Wateree River. 

The theory, detailed in a new report issued Monday, has come together from geologists with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the University of South Carolina and the College of Charleston. 

They believe the initial earthquake may have allowed water from the Wateree River to seep into new cracks that opened from the original December earthquake, which has now set off additional tremors in the area. 

Scott Howard, a geologist with SCDNR explains how the first earthquake changed the dynamic. 

"When the first earthquake happened, what it may have done is re-adjusted the system and may have caused more fracture prosody and permeability, greater permeability as a result of that and each earthquake is changing that system, so how do you correlate that? Well, it isn't a one-on-one thing, so it isn't like the water levels in the river change and that causes an earthquake, it's just that the proximity of the water may be a way of getting water into the fracture system," Howard said. 

"Well, I go back to the point ... if you look at the history of earthquakes in the southeast, you look at where they occur ... 90% of them are occurring in stream valleys, and they are occurring where there's water," Howard said. 

RELATED: South Carolina earthquake swarm continues with rumble near school

Elgin Town Hall will be open and the public can come and view the meeting at our location.

Posted by Town of Elgin on Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Elgin resident William Pate has felt at least three of the tremors and says he's glad some research is being done. "I'm glad someone's looking into, we've all been freaked out about it around here." 

Howard said all in all, the report was to help get information out to the public. 

"We wanted to get out some good geological information about where the geological community stood on these earthquakes." 

As for those in Kershaw County, the Town of Elgin plans to host a Virtual Earthquake Town Hall on Wednesday, June 27th. 

RELATED: Scientists think water may play a role in Kershaw County's earthquake swarm

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