Two counter-weighted-pipe borehole extensometers were installed on the left bank of the Rio Grande between El Paso, Texas, and Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico, in 1992. A shallow extensometer measures vertical compaction in the 6- to 100-meter aquifer-system depth interval. A deep extensometer measures vertical compaction in the 6- to 305-meter aquifer-system depth interval. Both extensometers are referenced to the same surface datum, which allows time-series differencing to determine vertical compaction in the depth interval between 100 and 305 meters. From April 2, 1993, through June 13, 2002, 1.6 centimeters of compaction occurred in the 6-to 305-m depth interval. Until February 1999, most aquifer-system compaction occurred in the deeper aquifer-system interval between 100 and 305 meters, from which ground water was extracted. After that time, compaction in the shallow interval from 6 to 100 meters was predominant and attained a maximum of 7.6 millimeters by June 13, 2002. Minor residual compaction is expected to continue; continued maintenance of the El Paso extensometers would document this process.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Summary of extensometric measurements in El Paso, Texas