The timing was right. The Zipingpu reservoir began filling in December 2004, and within 2 years the water level had rapidly risen by 120 meters, says Fan Xiao, a chief engineer of the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau in Chengdu.
[quote]Klose's listeners were intrigued but far from convinced. They wanted to hear more details about changing water levels and local, lower-level seismicity. Fan, who was not at the meeting, provides some of those details, all of which favor a link between the Zipingpu Reservoir and the earthquake. Judging by the history of known reservoir-triggered quakes, the rapid filling of Zipingpu as well as its considerable depth would have favored triggering, he says. The delay between filling and the great quake would have given time for reservoir water to penetrate deep into the crust, where it can weaken a fault. And the greatest danger of triggering comes not at the time of maximum filling, he argues, but when the water level is falling. "As we now know, a week before the May 12 earthquake, the water level fell more rapidly than ever before," says Fan. [/url]