Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Aquifer compaction and land subsidence

Detailed Description

This animated infographic shows how aquifer compaction can lead to land subsidence. When water is pumped from a confined aquifer faster than it can recharge, the water pressure in the aquifer begins to decrease. As water pressure decreases, both the confining layers and the aquifers themselves can start to compact under the weight of the overlying sediments. This causes subsidence at the surface.


Public Domain.