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Regional land subsidence caused by the compaction of susceptible aquifer systems accompanying groundwater extraction

By:  and 
Edited by: Vijay P. Singh

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Abstract

Land subsidence includes both gentle downwarping and sudden sinking of segments of the land surface. Major anthropogenic causes of land subsidence are extraction of fluids including water, oil, and gas. Measurement and detec- tion of land subsidence include both ground-based and remotely sensed air- borne and space-based methods. Methods for measurement of subsidence at points include differential leveling, global positioning system surveys, and extensometers. Satellite-borne differential interferometric synthetic aperture radar and airborne LiDAR techniques can detect land-surface movement over wide areas of interest. Aquifer-system compaction and subsidence owing to groundwater extraction typically occurs in areas of unconsolidated alluvial or basin-fill aquifer systems comprising aquifers and aquitards. Approaches to analyzing and modeling deformation of aquifer systems follow from the basic relations between head, stress, compressibility, and groundwater flow. Analysis and simulation of aquifer-system compaction have been addressed primarily using either an approach based on conventional groundwater flow theory or an approach based on linear poroelasticity theory. Both approaches rely on the principle of effective stress outlined by Karl Terzaghi in 1925. In the approach based on conventional groundwater flow theory, an aquitard drainage model explains the compaction of fine grained material using the principle of effective stress and theory of hydrodynamic lag. Packages for the widely-used MODFLOW groundwater model are available to simulate aqui- fer-system compaction and land subsidence using the aquitard-drainage approach. Poroelasticity theory describes the more fully coupled processes of groundwater flow and three-dimensional deformation of aquifer systems. The general theory accounts for compressible fluid, porous matrix and solid grains. Simulation codes using the poroelastic theory include some commer- cial software products and a few research codes.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Regional land subsidence caused by the compaction of susceptible aquifer systems accompanying groundwater extraction
ISBN 9780071835091
Year Published 2016
Language English
Publisher McGraw-Hill Education
Contributing office(s) Office of the AD Water
Description 11 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Handbook of applied hydrology
First page 56.1
Last page 56.11