BERKELEY (CBS SF) – The snow is finally starting to melt after a long wet winter, and according to researchers, that could mean more earthquakes.

Researchers at U.C. Berkeley say the weight of the rain and snow puts pressure on the mountains. As the water begins to run off and the ground begins to dry out – the earth’s crust starts to flex, triggering quakes.

“These stress changes are just giving it that little bit of a push over the edge, and makes these faults rupture earlier,” says U.C. Berkeley’s Christopher Johnson.

Researchers looked at more than 3,000 earthquakes over a nine-year period.

The exceptionally wet winters came with an increase in smaller quakes. And this year, we saw an exceptionally wet winter.

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