Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Subsidence of agricultural lands in the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta, California: Role of aqueous and gaseous carbon fluxes

August 1, 1996

To examine the causes of land subsidence on marshes drained for agriculture, carbon fluxes and changes in land‐surface elevation were determined on three islands in the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta, California. Over the time period of March 1990 to May 1992, gaseous CO2 fluxes were determined approximately monthly using closed chambers, and dissolved carbon fluxes were determined from the dissolved carbon loads of drainage ditches adjacent to each field site. Surface elevation changes were measured continuously by measuring the distance between the land surface and an elevated structure anchored beneath the organic soil layer. Gaseous CO2 fluxes accounted for most of the permanent subsidence measured over the monitoring period. Gaseous CO2fluxes are strongly affected by soil temperature. Net subsidence rates for the three islands, which have different depths of organic soils and water‐management practices, range from 0.46 to 1.06 cm/yr. Estimates of dissolved organic carbon fluxes for all three islands were small relative to gaseous CO2 losses and represent <1% of the measured subsidence.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1996
Title Subsidence of agricultural lands in the Sacramento‐San Joaquin Delta, California: Role of aqueous and gaseous carbon fluxes
DOI 10.1029/96WR01338
Authors Steven J. Deverel, Stuart Rojstaczer
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Resources Research
Series Number
Index ID 70199509
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center