The relationship between El Niño and the lithosphere is still not clear. Dr. Dan Walker noted that El Niños and earthquakes on the East Pacific Rise (an elevated area of the ocean floor in the East Pacific) occurred at roughly the same time. He thought that the release of volcanic heat that occurred with these earthquakes played a role in triggering an El Niño.
Succeeding researchers noted that El Niños actually preceded the earthquakes. This observation raised the question, Are El Niños the cause of the earthquakes? Because the level of the ocean changes with an El Niño, the pressure the water exerts on the sea floor also changes. Could this change in pressure be enough to trigger earthquakes?
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