Impacts of land subsidence caused by withdrawal of underground fluids in the United States
Thomas L. Holzer, Devin L. Galloway, 2005. "Impacts of land subsidence caused by withdrawal of underground fluids in the United States", Humans as Geologic Agents, Judy Ehlen, William C. Haneberg, Robert A. Larson
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Lowering of the land surface of large areas has been a major unintended consequence of groundwater and petroleum withdrawal by humans. Approximately 26,000 km2 of land in the United States has been permanently lowered. The decrease of land-surface elevation, known as land subsidence, typically occurs at rates measured in centimeters per year. However, the irreversible accumulation of its effects clearly qualifies humans as major geologic agents. Subsidence causes permanent inundation of land, aggravates flooding, changes topographic gradients, ruptures the land surface, and reduces the capacity of aquifers to store water. This paper reviews the mechanism, occurrence and history, impacts, and efforts by society to control land subsidence caused by underground fluid withdrawal in the United States.