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Shallow, loosely packed, unconsolidated reservoirs subjected to intense fluid-withdrawal operations generallyexhibit porosity reduction as a function of pressure drop. This phenomenon, reflected as subsurface compaction, causes a reduction in the net reservoir thickness and initiates certain stress propagations that cause disturbances and movements in the overburden strata. Topographical surface subsidence may occur in response to these displacements.

Both compaction and subsidence mechanisms are directly related to specific reservoir parameters during exploitation. These parameters, identified as compaction or subsidence factors, may be classified in terms of reservoir geology, sedimentology, petrophysics, and production.

The results may be applied to areas under study for possible hydrocarbon and/or water resource exploitation, where decisions must be made as to the development of surface facilities and infrastructure, and where the effect on surrounding areas must be qualitatively evaluated.

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