Abstract

Land subsidence in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States, between April 1992 and December 1997 was measured using spaceborne interferometric synthetic aperture radar. The detailed deformation maps clearly show that the spatial extent of subsidence is controlled by geologic structures (faults) and sediment composition (clay thickness). The maximum detected subsidence during the 5.75 yr period is 19 cm. Comparison with leveling data indicates that the subsidence rates declined during the past decade as a result of rising ground-water levels brought about by a net reduction in ground-water extraction. Temporal analysis also detects seasonal subsidence and uplift patterns, which provide information about the elastic and inelastic properties of the aquifer system and their spatial variability.

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