Compaction and Land Subsidence

  • Robert Maliva
  • Thomas Missimer
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


It is well documented that groundwater abstractions can induce land subsidence in many arid lands where groundwater is the only viable water source (e.g., Cuevas 1936; Domenico et al. 1966; Poland and Davis 1956; Poland 1961, 1970; Poland et al. 1975; Tolman and Poland 1940; Wilson and Grace 1942; Winslow and Wood 1959). Within the United States, an area of more than 26,000 km 2 (10,039 mi 2) has been permanently lowered as the result of withdrawal of underground fluids (National Research Council 1991; Holzer and Galloway 2005). Land subsidence induced by groundwater pumpage was reviewed by Galloway et al. ( 1999a, b), Holzer and Galloway ( 2005), and Galloway and Burbey ( 2011). The land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley, California, USA, (Figs.  15.1 and 15.2), which was caused largely by groundwater pumping for irrigation, was observed by Galloway and Riley ( 1999, p. 23) to be “one of the single largest alterations of the land surface attributed to mankind”.


Global Position System Effective Stress Land Subsidence Synthetic Aperture Radar Global Position System Receiver 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Maliva
    • 1
  • Thomas Missimer
    • 2
  1. 1.Schlumberger Water ServicesFort MyersUSA
  2. 2. Water Desalination and Reuse CenterKing Abdullah University of Science and TechnologyThuwalSaudi Arabia

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