Analysis and simulation of regional subsidence accompanying groundwater abstraction and compaction of susceptible aquifer systems in the USA

Devin L. Galloway, Michelle Sneed


Regional aquifer-system
compaction and land subsidence accompanying groundwater abstraction
in susceptible aquifer systems in the USA is a challenge for
managing groundwater resources and mitigating associated hazards.
Developments in the assessment of regional subsidence provide more
information to constrain analyses and simulation of aquifer-system
compaction. Current popular approaches to simulating vertical
aquifer-system deformation (compaction), such as those embodied in
the aquitard drainage model and the MODFLOW subsidence packages,
have proven useful from the perspective of regional groundwater
resources assessment. However, these approaches inadequately address
related local-scale hazards—ground ruptures and damages to
engineered structures on the land surface arising from tensional
stresses and strains accompanying groundwater abstraction. This
paper presents a brief overview of the general approaches taken by
the U.S. Geological Survey toward understanding aquifer-system
compaction and subsidence with regard to a) identifying the affected
aquifer systems; b) making regional assessments; c) analyzing the
governing processes; and d) simulating historical and future
groundwater flow and subsidence conditions. Limitations and
shortcomings of these approaches, as well as future challenges also
are discussed.

Palabras clave

Subsidence; aquifer-system compaction; aquitard drainage; MODFLOW; poroelastic deformation.

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