Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Hydrocompaction Subsidence

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_177


Hydroconsolidation; Near-surface subsidence; Sagging; Shallow subsidence


A process of collapse and compaction that occurs in silty to sandy sediment (soil) having a low bulk density, is saturated for sustained periods, but the water is subsequently removed (Krynine and Judd, 1957; Dudley, 1970). Infiltrating water enters the porous structure of the sediments weakening interparticle bonds of clay if present and reducing capillary tension between coarser soil particles that provided strength when unsaturated. Removal of these structural bonds causes overall consolidation and is manifested by settlement under loads and subsidence at the ground surface (Inter-Agency Committee on Land Subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley, 1958; Lofgren, 1960; Sajgalik, 1990).

Soil characteristics

Soils susceptible to hydrocompaction are geologically immature deposits or reclaimed soils that are uncompacted or unconsolidated predominantly composed of silt and sand grains with a small...

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Illinois State Geological SurveyPrairie Research Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignChampaignUSA