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: October 19, 2018
Status: Completed

Using Numerical Models to Simulate 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
Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Decomposition of Organic Soils in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta of California was once a great tidal freshwater marsh. It is blanketed by peat and peaty alluvium deposited where streams originating in the Sierra Nevada, Coast Ranges, and South Cascade Range enter San Francisco Bay. In the late 1800s, levees were built along the stream channels, and the land thus protected from flooding was drained, cleared, and planted ('...

Date published: October 18, 2018
Status: Active

Aquifer Compaction due to Groundwater Pumping

Although land subsidence caused by groundwater pumping has caused many negative effects on human civil works for centuries, especially in the highly developed urban or industrialized areas of Europe, the relation between subsidence and groundwater pumpage was not understood or recognized for a long time. Recognition began in 1928 when pioneer researcher O.E. Meinzer of the U.S. Geological...

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: October 17, 2018
Status: Active

Land Subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley

The San Joaquin Valley is one of the most productive agricultural regions in the nation. Beginning around the 1920's, farmers relied upon groundwater for water supply. Over time, overpumping caused groundwater-level declines and associated aquifer-system compaction and land subsidence that resulted in permanent aquifer-system storage loss.

Contacts: Michelle Sneed
Date published: June 27, 2018
Status: Active

Low Intensity Chemical Dosing (LICD)

Rivers, wetlands, and agricultural operations supply natural organic material to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta (Delta) and the San Francisco Estuary. This natural organic matter provides many ecosystem benefits, but it also adversely affects drinking water. During drinking water treatment, chlorine added for purposes of pathogen control reacts with dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in the...

Contacts: Tamara Kraus, Phil Bachand
Date published: August 27, 2012
Status: Active

Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM)

In an effort to aid water managers in understanding how water moves through the aquifer system, predicting water-supply scenarios, and addressing issues related to water competition, the USGS developed a new hydrologic modeling tool, the Central Valley Hydrologic Model (CVHM). The CVHM is an extensive, detailed three-dimensional (3D) computer model of the hydrologic system of the Central...

Contacts: Claudia C Faunt