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Japanese Quake Impacted Florida Water Table

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Florida water table levels were impacted by the Japanese earthquake-tsunami, here water levels can be seen in a file photo of Lake Okeechobee during the 2007 drought.  (Source: Getty Images)

Florida water table levels were impacted by the Japanese earthquake-tsunami, here water levels can be seen in a file photo of Lake Okeechobee during the 2007 drought. (Source: Getty Images)

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MIAMI (CBS4) – When the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan March 11, it sent out a ripple effect that made water table levels from Orlando to the Florida Keys rise and then fall up to three inches.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald reported that the reverberations were felt for two hours, quoting University of Miami earthquake researcher, Shimon Wdowinski saying “It shows that the flow in the aquifer is pretty fast, which is good and bad. It’s good because we can filter a lot of water through there. But it’s bad because in the case of pollution, it can travel very quickly.”

Apparently the porous limestone beneath Florida’s soil allows water to flow beneath the earth’s surface, and that is why Florida’s water levels were impacted so heavily by the earthquake and tsunami, Wdowinski said.

“The water can flow fast and respond better to the pressure changes induced by a wave,” he said.

This is not the first time Florida’s water tables were impacted by earthquakes far away. Changes in the water table also were measured after last year’s Haiti and Chile shakeups, Wdowinski told the Herald. He also said a 20-foot spike was measured in South Florida after a massive 9.2 Alaskan earthquake in 1964.

 “I wouldn’t say it’s normal, but it’s not unusual” to notice changes, Wdowinski told the Herald.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report)

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