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Approximate land-surface subsidence in Fort Bend County, Texas, 1943-87 and 1973-87

January 1, 1998

Land-surface subsidence resulting from the lowering of water levels that accompany ground-water development in areas of the Texas Gulf Coast has been described in numerous reports, newspapers, and magazines since the 1950s. Gabrysch and Bonnet (1975), Gabrysch (1984), and Gabrysch and Coplin (1990) presented subsidence maps of the Houston-Galveston region, including Fort Bend County, for a number of time periods. Most of the subsidence has been in the Houston area. This report, prepared in cooperation with the Fort Bend Subsidence District and the Harris-Galveston Coastal Subsidence District, presents contour maps of land-surface subsidence in Fort Bend County that occurred during 1943-87 and 1973-87.

Fort Bend County is underlain by a thick section of unconsolidated lenticular deposits of sand and clay. The deposits include the principal aquifers in the county – the Evangeline aquifer and the overlying Chicot aquifer. Within these aquifers, the interbedded sands and clays are saturated with water almost to the land surface. The sand layers generally are connected laterally, but the clays retard the vertical movement of water, creating confined (artesian) conditions within the aquifer. The sands are fine to medium grained, and the combined layers yield large quantities of water. The clays are principally montmorillonite, the most compressible of the clay minerals.

Publication Year 1998
Title Approximate land-surface subsidence in Fort Bend County, Texas, 1943-87 and 1973-87
DOI 10.3133/ofr98383
Authors R.K. Gabrysch, L. S. Coplin
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 98-383
Index ID ofr98383
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Texas Water Science Center