The USGS Water Science School
The withdrawal of groundwater near Lucerne Lake (dry) in San Bernardino County, Mojave Desert, California has caused the land to subside, with the results being the formation of fissures on the landscape. In some instances, the fissures were more than 1 meter (3.3 feet) wide and deep. Fissuring often is associated with localized differential compaction of sediments. The 5-gallon bucket can be used as a scale reference.
Credit: USGS Water-Resources Investigations Report 03-4015.