Engineering geology approach to the effects of land subsidence in Mexico City
Mariano Cerca, Dora Carreón-Freyre, Penélope López-Quiroz, Efraín Ovando-Shelley, Marie Pierre Doin, Raúl Gutierrez-Calderón, Marcos González-Hernández, Alejandra Jimenez-Sánchez, Daniel Blancas-Dominguez, 2012. "Engineering geology approach to the effects of land subsidence in Mexico City", The Southern Cordillera and Beyond, José Jorge Aranda-Gómez, Gustavo Tolson, Roberto S. Molina-Garza
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The modern Mexico Megacity occupies almost a third of the surface of the Valley of Mexico, and it is exposed to natural and man-induced hazards affecting many aspects of urban development. Land subsidence is a geo-hazard imposing important constraints in the urban development by the gradual decrease in elevation of the land surface. This is caused either naturally, by the extraction of water, oil, minerals, or gas from the subsurface, or by the interaction between natural and anthropogenic forces. In this field trip guide we examine regional land subsidence and the vulnerability to fracturing of the lacustrine soils. Groundwater has been over-exploited for human consumption in Mexico City during the past 70 years, leading to a dramatic decline of piezometric levels and the associated land and subsoil deformation. Interdisciplinary research from geologists and engineers may play an important role in understanding the relationship between geological processes and the suitability of land for urban use.
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Prepared in conjunction with the 2012 GSA Cordilleran Section Meeting, Querétaro, Mexico, this volume's eight field guides showcase three aspects of the geology of the southern end of the North America cordillera: Mid-Tertiary and Quaternary volcanology, environmental geology, and Mesozoic tectonics. Field Guide 25 explores the Cenozoic stratigraphy of Sierra de Guanajuato, one of the most important Mexican mining districts, and addresses a controversial topic, the accretion of the Guerrero terrane and its possible role in the Late Cretaceous—Early Tertiary orogeny. Three guides related to the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, an active magmatic arc related to subduction of the Rivera and Cocos plates, include new data about the recent volcanic history, physical volcanology, and volcanic hazards in Mexico's most densely populated area. Bringing the geosciences into societal problems, one guide presents data on ground deformation related to water extraction in urbanized areas of the Mexico City basin, and another explores the ghost town of the Mineral de Pozos mining district and the effect of mine tailings on groundwater.