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USGS Groundwater Information

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USGS Groundwater Watch

USGS maintains a network of active wells to provide basic statistics about groundwater levels.

 [Image: USGS active water level wells location map.]

USGS in Your State

USGS Water Science Centers are located in each state.

 [Map: There is a USGS Water Science Center office in each State.] Washington Oregon California Idaho Nevada Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado Arizona New Mexico North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas Oklahoma Texas Minnesota Iowa Missouri Arkansas Louisiana Wisconsin Illinois Mississippi Michigan Indiana Ohio Kentucky Tennessee Alabama Pennsylvania West Virginia Georgia Florida Caribbean Alaska Hawaii and Pacific Islands New York Vermont New Hampshire Maine Massachusetts South Carolina North Carolina Rhode Island Virginia Connecticut New Jersey Maryland-Delaware-D.C.

Land Subsidence

 [Photo:  Subsidence-related earth fissures in south-central Arizona]

Some of the most spectacular examples of subsidence-related earth fissures occur in south-central Arizona. Photo from USGS Fact Sheet-165-00.

Land subsidence is a gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth's surface owing to subsurface movement of earth materials. Subsidence is a global problem and, in the United States, more than 17,000 square miles in 45 States, an area roughly the size of New Hampshire and Vermont combined, have been directly affected by subsidence.

The principal causes are aquifer-system compaction, drainage of organic soils, underground mining, hydrocompaction, natural compaction, sinkholes, and thawing permafrost. More than 80 percent of the identified subsidence in the Nation is a consequence of our exploitation of underground water, and the increasing development of land and water resources threatens to exacerbate existing land-subsidence problems and initiate new ones. In many areas of the arid Southwest, and in more humid areas underlain by soluble rocks such as limestone, gypsum, or salt, land subsidence is an often- overlooked environmental consequence of our land- and water-use practices.


Overviews and Introductory Information:

* This report was initially printed with the report number "FS-087-00". The correct and current number for this report is "FS-165-00".

USGS Subsidence Interest Group Conference Proceedings

For more information:

For more USGS information on land subsidence:

USGS Home Water Climate and Land Use Change Core Science Systems Ecosystems Energy and Minerals Environmental Health Natural Hazards

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 16-Sep-2013 20:51:52 EDT