Taipei building too much for earth to bear?

A geologist says Taipei has seen more earthquakes since a huge skyscraper was built in the Taiwanese capital city and suggests the trend may not be a coincidence. Construction on Taipei 101, the 1,667-foot behemoth, began in 1997.

Historically, Taiwan is very earthquake prone, but Taipei itself is not because it sits on the western boundary of the Phillippine Sea plate, according to a Reuters report. But that has changed in recent years, and Lin Cheng-horng, a geologist at the Institute of Earth Sciences at a prestigious think tank in Taiwan, thinks it may be due to the enormous amount of stress Taipei 101 exerts on the ground below it.

Taipei 101 weighs about 700,000 tons, but whether or not that is enough of a burden to actually strain the earth's outer crust is up for debate. Cheng-horng is the first to admit that scientific evidence showing a correlation is scant at best. But with record-breaking skyscrapers being built at a quickening pace (Samsung's Burj Tower in Dubai is planned to reach a staggering 2,625 feet), he argues that further research into the matter is critical.

 

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