California Water Science Center

Land Subsidence

Land Subsidence in California

Land Subsidence in California

Explore what causes land subsidence, how it is measured, and what areas of California have been affected. 

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Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA)

USGS data, modeling tools, and scientific analysis to help water resource managers plan for, and assess, hydrologic issues associated with groundwater use and the SGMA sustainability indicators.

SGMA Tools & Info >>
Filter Total Items: 30
Date published: December 6, 2018
Status: Active

Subsidence in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta is part of the San Francisco Estuary, home to a diverse flora and fauna, including several threatened and endangered species, has a large area of prime farmland, and serves as the hub of California's freshwater-delivery system that moves water from the wet north to the dry southern part of the State.

Date published: December 4, 2018
Status: Completed

Management Tools For The Hydrologic Model Of Santa Clara Valley, California

Groundwater flow model of the Santa Clara Valley.

Date published: November 30, 2018
Status: Active

Extensometers and Compaction

Extensometers measure the compaction and expansion of the aquifer system, providing depth-specific data that can help CAWSC scientists better understand the rate, extent, and at what depths in the system subsidence is occurring. 

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: November 26, 2018
Status: Completed

Investigation of Linkages Between Management Practices Used in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta Rice Production and Loads of Dissolved Organic Matter and Disinfection Byproduct Precursors

The primary objective of this study is to expand our current understanding of how to manage rice production in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in a manner that minimizes loads of water quality contaminants to Delta waters.

Contacts: Jacob A Fleck
Date published: November 7, 2018
Status: Active

Mojave Land-Subsidence Studies

Land subsidence has been ongoing in the dry lake beds throughout the Mojave and Morongo groundwater basins since the 1960s. In a study conducted from 2004 - 2009, continuous GPS stations were added to interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) methods to measure changes in land surface altitude.

Date published: November 7, 2018
Status: Active

Land Subsidence in the Coachella Valley

Groundwater is an important water-supply source in the Coachella Valley. The demand for water has exceeded the deliveries of imported surface water, and groundwater levels have been declining as a result of increased pumping. A network of GPS stations has been set up in the valley to monitor subsidence resulting from declining groundwater levels.

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: November 6, 2018
Status: Active

Delta-Mendota Canal: Using Groundwater Modeling to Analyze Land Subsidence

A numerical modeling approach was used to quantify groundwater conditions and land subsidence spatially along the Delta-Mendota Canal. In addition, selected management alternatives for controlling land subsidence were evaluated.

Date published: November 5, 2018
Status: Completed

Delta-Mendota Canal: Evaluation of Groundwater Conditions and Land Subsidence

In areas adjacent to the Delta-Mendota Canal (DMC), extensive groundwater withdrawal from the San Joaquin Valley aquifer system has caused areas of the ground to sink as much as 10 feet, a process known as land subsidence. This could...

Date published: November 5, 2018
Status: Completed

Land Subsidence Along the California Aqueduct

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. More than 80 percent of the identified subsidence in the United States is a consequence of human impact on subsurface water.

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: October 23, 2018
Status: Active

Simulation of Groundwater Flow and Land Subsidence in the Antelope Valley Groundwater Basin

Prior to 1972, groundwater provided more than 90 percent of the total water supply in Antelope Valley, California (~50 miles northeast of Los Angeles); since 1972, it has provided between 50 and 90 percent (the balance provided by imported surface water). Most groundwater pumping in the valley occurs in the Antelope Valley groundwater basin, which includes the rapidly growing cities of...

Contacts: Tracy Nishikawa
Date published: October 22, 2018
Status: Completed

Piezometers and Groundwater Levels

Measurements of elevations, aquifer-system compaction, and water levels are used to improve our understanding of the processes responsible for land-surface elevation changes. Elevation or elevation-change measurements are fundamental to monitoring land subsidence.

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: October 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Simulating Land Subsidence

The California Water Science Center has been involved in multiple studies simulating land subsidence associated with groundwater withdrawal. The simulations can be used to estimate the magnitude, location, and timing of subsidence. They can also be used to evaluate management strategies to mitigate adverse effects from subsidence while also optimizing water availability.

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt