Fracturing and subsidence of the land surface caused by the withdrawal of ground water in the Milford area, Utah

Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Prepared in cooperation with the Utah Department of Natural Resources
By:  and 

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Abstract

Fracturing and subsidence of the land surface in the Milford area of Utah have resulted from the decline of water levels due to pumping in unconsolidated deposits of Quaternary age. To the writers' knowledge, these are the first such effects of ground-water withdrawal reported in Utah.

The fracturing is in an area about 1 mile (1.6 km) wide and 11 miles (18 km) long near Milford, in an unsaturated clay-silt zone (locally peaty at top) in the upper part of the principal ground-water reservoir. The fractures range in length from several feet to more than 100 feet (30 m), and their maximum measured depth in 1972 was 4 feet (1.2 m).

Land subsidence in the Milford area is demonstrated by three lines of evidence: (1) collapse structures, (2) well casings that protrude higher above the land surface than when first placed in the borehole, and (3) lower elevations at National Ocean Survey (formerly U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey) bench marks in 1970 than in 1908. This evidence shows that land subsidence in the Milford area is of two types, each having a different origin. One type has a near-surface origin in the clay-silt zone in the upper part of the principal groundwater reservoir, and the other is in the lower artesian aquifers of the principal ground-water reservoir. The amount of observed subsidence ranges from 0.05 foot (0.015 m) at the bench mark at Read to about 6 feet (1.8 m) at collapse structures in the Hay Springs area.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Fracturing and subsidence of the land surface caused by the withdrawal of ground water in the Milford area, Utah
Series title Journal of Research of the U.S. Geological Survey
Volume 4
Issue 5
Year Published 1976
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description 6 p.
First page 505
Last page 510
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Milford, Hay Springs
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N