The cover of a recent special issue (September 2011) of Scientific American on urban issues stated “We have seen the future and it is urban.” Geologists have commonly ventured to remote locales away from cultural complications to study the Earth, but perhaps understanding the geology where people live is equally or more important. The conversion of natural, agricultural, and other low-population density lands to urban or suburban land creates considerable changes in the hydrogeology of the area. As long ago noted by Sherlock (1922), mankind is a significant geological agent. The hydrogeological effects of urbanization were the subject of...

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