Can the Moon Cause Earthquakes?

Coast dwellers are accustomed to the daily rhythm of the tides, which are primarily lulled in and out by the gentle gravitational tug of the moon. Some scientists wonder whether the moon’s tugging may also influence earthquake activity.

“The same force that raises the ‘tides’ in the ocean also raises tides in the [Earth’s]crust,” said Geoff Chester, an astronomer and public affairs officer with the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.